tec·​to·​nism ˈtek-tə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce tectonism (audio)
: the process of deformation that produces in the earth's crust its continents and ocean basins, plateaus and mountains, folds of strata, and faults

called also diastrophism

Examples of tectonism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, much of the Black Sea basin is bounded by passive margins, where no active tectonism is occurring -- not exactly the sort of place that a submarine volcanic eruption would occur. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 11 Jan. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tectonism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


tecton(ic) + -ism

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tectonism was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near tectonism

Cite this Entry

“Tectonism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tectonism. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tec·​to·​nism ˈtek-tə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce tectonism (audio)
: the process of deformation that produces the earth's continents, ocean basins, mountains, folds, and faults

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