Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or belonging to the geologic time, system of rocks, and sedimentary deposits of the third and last period of the Mesozoic Era, characterized by the development of flowering plants and ending with the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs and many other forms of life. See Table at geologic time.
  • adj. Of, containing, or resembling chalk.
  • n. The Cretaceous Period or its system of deposits.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The geologic period within the Mesozoic era that comprises lower and upper epochs from about 146 to 65 million years ago

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the qualities of chalk; abounding with chalk; chalky. See chalk.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or designating, the period of time following the Jurassic and preceding the Tertiary, generally given as from 144 million years b. p. to 65 million years b. p.. Also called Cre*tac"ic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Chalky.
  • Found in chalk; found in strata of the cretaceous group.
  • n. [capitalized] In geology, the cretaceous group.
  • In botany: Chalky, or having chalk-glands, as in some species of Saxifraga.
  • Of a chalky color; dead-white.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. abounding in chalk
  • n. from 135 million to 63 million years ago; end of the age of reptiles; appearance of modern insects and flowering plants
  • adj. of or relating to or denoting the third period of the Mesozoic era

Etymologies

From Latin crētāceus, chalky, from crēta, chalk, from Crēta (terra), Cretan (earth).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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