tec·​ton·​ics | \ tek-ˈtä-niks How to pronounce tectonics (audio) \

Definition of tectonics

1 : geological structural features as a whole
2a : a branch of geology concerned with the structure of the crust of a planet (such as the earth) or moon and especially with the formation of folds and faults in it
b : tectonism

Examples of tectonics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Along with many other creatures, it had been thought that these spiders were separated from their companions by the slow breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana as the Earth's tectonics plates shifted. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "How One Brave Spider Floated Thousands of Miles to Colonize a New Continent," 2 Aug. 2017

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

First Known Use of tectonics

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tectonics

Statistics for tectonics

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tectonics

The first known use of tectonics was in 1899

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tectonics

tectonics

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tectonics

geology : the structure of the Earth's surface and the ways in which it changes shape over time

More from Merriam-Webster on tectonics

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tectonics

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tectonics

Comments on tectonics

What made you want to look up tectonics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!