Definition of allochthonous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈläkTHənəs/


Denoting sediment or rock that originated at a distance from its present position. Often contrasted with autochthonous.
Example sentences
  • The fossils of the westernmost exposures of the Hoko River Formation are allochthonous, preserved in reworked concretions within conglomerates that were deposited as part of a submarine fan system during late Eocene time.
  • However, this does not prove that the Moine rocks necessarily constitute an allochthonous terrane in the North American sense.
  • Although some skeletal remains are evidently allochthonous, other remains are probably parautochthonous.


Early 20th century: from allo- 'other' + Greek khthōn 'earth' + -ous.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: al·loch·tho·nous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.