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

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Other Words from tectonic

tectonically \ tek-​ˈtä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tectonically (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 Quartz/Mike Murphy Music has undergone myriad tectonic shifts in style, trends, and production techniques since the Stratocaster went into production in 1954, but Fender has generally rolled with the changes. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Fender is reinventing itself for the future of music while holding onto its past," 13 Dec. 2019 Scientists say the periodic exposure to the elements of big chunks of volcanic rock as a result of tectonic movement has, over a geologic time scale, influenced the Earth’s climate, even helping bring on ice ages. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Could putting pebbles on beaches help solve climate change?," 16 Dec. 2019 My dad was a lifetime Methodist preacher with a faith to move mountains and a mind to marvel over the tectonic theory that explained how the mountain was made. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "How to end Alabama’s fight with science," 8 Dec. 2019 Get our daily newsletter The bad news is that our best-of-breed status is in jeopardy because the very business model of our school faces tectonic challenges (see article). The Economist, "The future of management education," 2 Nov. 2019 The station was established to study tectonic deformation, but Larson was curious because the bay also has some of the biggest tidal variations in the United States. Alexandra Witze, Smithsonian, "Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know GPS Could Do," 1 Nov. 2019 Previously, scientists discovered a series of undersea volcanic arcs created by this tectonic unrest, starting near the Sardinian coast, with increasingly younger arcs southward and eastward. Fox News, "Hidden world of undersea volcanoes and lava flows discovered off Italian coast," 27 Sep. 2019 Bryce Canyon is located in southern Utah and is known for its hoodoos, with the largest concentration of the tectonic rock columns found anywhere on earth. Gina Martinez, Time, "Four People Confirmed Dead in Tour Bus Accident Near Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park," 20 Sep. 2019 The tectonic shift from brick-and-mortar retail to online commerce has entered its middle phase. Zachary Karabell, Wired, "Best Buy Bucks the Trend That’s Crushing Other Retailers," 11 Dec. 2019

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.

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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"

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Time Traveler for tectonic

Time Traveler

The first known use of tectonic was in 1894

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tectonic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tectonic. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tectonic


How to pronounce tectonic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tectonic

geology : of or relating to changes in the structure of the Earth's surface
: having a large and important effect

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tectonic

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