Definition of Cambrian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkambrēən/


1(Chiefly in names or geographical terms) Welsh: the Cambrian Railway
More example sentences
  • The Cambrian mountains, almost overwhelmed by conifer plantations, are growing a new kind of forest.
  • The Cambrian Railways were absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922.
  • In 1865 The Cambrian Railway company was formed through an amalgamation of smaller companies.
2 Geology Relating to or denoting the first period in the Paleozoic era, between the end of the Precambrian eon and the beginning of the Ordovician period.
Example sentences
  • Precambrian rocks are those formed before the beginning of the Cambrian period, about 590 million years ago.
  • Others have suggested that there is nothing unusual about Cambrian faunas in terms of their flexibility or disparity.
  • Sedgwick began fieldwork at Barmouth in north Wales in 1831 where he established the order of local rocks and gave the name Cambrian to the oldest fossiliferous strata.
2.1 (as noun the Cambrian) The Cambrian period or the system of rocks deposited during it.

The Cambrian lasted from about 570 million to 510 million years ago and was a time of widespread seas. It is the earliest period in which fossils, notably trilobites, can be used in geological dating.


Mid 17th century: from Latin Cambria 'Wales', variant of Cumbria, from Welsh Cymry 'Welshman' or Cymru 'Wales'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Cam·bri·an

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