Definition of Hercynian in English:

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Pronunciation: /hərˈsinēən/


1Relating to or denoting a prolonged mountain-forming period (orogeny) in western Europe, eastern North America, and the Andes in the Upper Paleozoic era, especially the Carboniferous and Permian periods.
Example sentences
  • The late granitic plutons of the NW Iberian Peninsula, the last important felsic magmatic event of the Hercynian orogeny, are distributed in bands parallel to the Ibero-Armorican arc.
  • We show that these results allow us to constrain the late Carboniferous/early Permian tectonic setting for this part of the Hercynian belt of Europe.
  • This makes them very unusual within the western European Hercynian belt and suggests a peculiar orogenic context.
1.1 (as noun the Hercynian) The Hercynian orogeny.


Late 16th century: from Latin Hercynia silva; originally used by the ancient writers to designate an area of forested mountains in central Germany; later (from the late 19th century) applied in geology to the Harz Mountains formed in the Hercynian period.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Her·cy·ni·an

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