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

Examples of tectonics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As teams monitor for aftershocks, which continue to rumble through, the data promises to help future scientists better understand the hazards woven into the region's wild tectonics. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Greece and Turkey earthquake driven by wild tectonics of the Aegean Sea," 30 Oct. 2020 Shifting tectonics created varying surface textures overtime that allowed experts to recognize whether the ice was melting or freezing and when, which provided a timeline of Pluto's surface changes, Bierson said. Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY, "Pluto was once hot and harbors oceans today, study says," 24 June 2020 But in the endless writing about these individuals, their demands and moral virtue, observers have yet to reckon with the full emotional tectonics grinding beneath the protests. Zoë Hu, The New Republic, "A Fragile Answer to the Question of “Whose Streets?”," 10 June 2020 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.

See More

First Known Use of tectonics

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tectonics

tecton(ic) + -ics, probably after German Tektonik

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tectonics

Time Traveler for tectonics

Time Traveler

The first known use of tectonics was in 1899

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tectonics

Last Updated

6 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tectonics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tectonics. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tectonics

tectonics

noun
How to pronounce tectonics (audio)

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!