Definition of tectonic in English:


Syllabification: tec·ton·ic
Pronunciation: /tekˈtänik


1 Geology Of or relating to the structure of the earth’s crust and the large-scale processes that take place within it.
More example sentences
  • In this paper, we discuss the tectonic settings and magmatic processes which allow these magmas to reach the surface.
  • This area is a good example of the interplay of tectonic and magmatic processes.
  • Even in fairly recent history the theory of tectonic plates beneath the earth's crust was discounted and scorned before it could eventually be proven.
1.1(Of a change or development) very significant or considerable: the last decade has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs
More example sentences
  • Vietnam lies at the center of a tectonic traffic jam.
  • Sengor, in particular, advocated superposition of a regime associated with tectonic escape.
  • Shiite suspicions of the American troop increase reflect a tectonic shift in the political realities here.
2Of or relating to building or construction.
More example sentences
  • But despite relative economy of means, the building has bold tectonic presence.
  • Secondly, if the cut and montage are essential to cinematography, so too is the tectonic essential for architecture.
  • The Weimar Bauhaus is a tectonic expression of load bearing walls interrupted by window screens.


mid 17th century (sense 2): via late Latin from Greek tektonikos, from tektōn 'carpenter, builder'.



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • This mountain is tectonically active and uplifts still occur here.
  • New Zealand is a very tectonically active zone.
  • This characteristic of the proposed scheme could make it suitable for less tectonically stable parts of the world provided enclaves of suitably thick crust are available.

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