tec·​ton·​ic | \ tek-ˈtä-nik How to pronounce tectonic (audio) \

Definition of tectonic

1 : of or relating to tectonics
2 : having a strong and widespread impact a tectonic shift in voting patterns

Other Words from tectonic

tectonically \ tek-​ˈtä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tectonic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of tectonic in a Sentence

There has been a recent tectonic shift in voting patterns. a tectonic shift in societal trends occurred in the 1960s
Recent Examples on the Web The region sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2022 Or, amid all the tectonic changes in the industry, will the global TV industry decide that, in fact, an international meeting point is, in fact, necessary? Leo Barraclough, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 But others see in the tectonic changes brought on by the pandemic a golden opportunity to repurpose old buildings, reconfigure economic geography and bring new residents and new businesses into urban markets that had become too expensive. Washington Post, 31 Dec. 2020 In the last century, tectonic changes proliferated for durable goods such as motor vehicles, appliances, and electronics. Philip Cross, National Review, 30 Dec. 2020 Despite the tectonic changes ahead for the industry, the countries can continue to provide a manufacturing base after the pandemic has been tamed, according to Jaguar Land Rover’s Leslie. Peter Laca, Bloomberg.com, 16 Nov. 2020 The two teams haven’t met since 2011, with the series derailed by the ever-shifting tectonic plates of major college football. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 1 Sep. 2022 The two teams haven’t met since 2011, with the series derailed by the ever-shifting tectonic plates of major college football. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 1 Sep. 2022 Iceland straddles the boundary between two of the earth’s tectonic plates: enormous fragments of crust that fit together like puzzle pieces to form our planet’s rocky outer shell. Sasha Warren, Scientific American, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tectonic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tectonic

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tectonic

probably borrowed from German tektonisch "pertaining to broader structural features of the earth's crust," earlier "of building or construction," borrowed from Late Latin tectonicus "of a builder or architect," borrowed from Greek tektonikós "of a carpenter, skilled in carpentry or building," from tekton-, téktōn "woodworker, carpenter, craftsman" + -ikos -ic entry 1; téktōn going back to Indo-European *tetḱ-on- (whence also Sanskrit takṣan-, tákṣā "carpenter," Avestan tašan-, tašā "builder, creator"), n-stem derivative from a verbal base *tetḱ- "fashion, produce," whence Sanskrit tákṣati "(s/he) fashions, builds from wood," Avestan tāšt "(s/he) forms," Latvian tešu, tèst "to hew," Old Church Slavic tešǫ, tesati "to hew, fell," (with o-grade) Lithuanian tašýti "to hew"

Note: A root of the form *tetḱ- would be peculiar for Indo-European. Helmut Rix, et al., (Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben, 2. Ausgabe, Wiesbaden, 2001) rescue the situation by hypothesizing that *tetḱ- represents a pre-Indo-European reduplicated aorist, *te-tḱ-, of a root *teḱ-, seen in unreduplicated form in Greek téknon "child, young of an animal" and étekon, tekeîn, aorist of tíktō, tíktein "to give birth to, beget, generate" (see dystocia). However—aside from the certain correspondence of Greek téktōn with Vedic Sanskrit takṣan-, Avestan tašan- —all other outcomes of this supposed root can be accounted for as *teḱ-s-, an extended form of *teḱ-. To explain this anomaly, Andrew Sihler (New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, 1995, p. 225) hypothesizes that téktōn is a conflation of a regular derivative *texōn and an unattested agentive derivative *téktōr, going back to *teks-tor-, (with cluster simplification as in hektós "sixth" corresponding to héx "six"). Traditionally added to the compared forms given in the etymology above are Latin texere "to weave, form by plaiting or twining, construct" and other words (see at text entry 1). See also technical entry 1.

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The first known use of tectonic was in 1894

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tectonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tectonic. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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