from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The process of deformation by which the major features of the earth's crust, including continents, mountains, ocean beds, folds, and faults, are formed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geology, a general term suggested by J. W. Powell for all the varieties of deformation of the earth's crust.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun geology The deformation of the Earth's crust to form the continents, mountains and other large features

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

  • noun the process of deformation that produces continents and ocean basins in the earth's crust


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

[From Greek diastrophē, distortion, from diastrephein, to distort : dia-, apart; see dia– + strephein, to twist; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word diastrophism.


  • Possibly diastrophism broke the original continent into small islands which would not support so large an animal population; or the drying-out may have progressed still further.

    The Earth Book of Stormgate Anderson, Poul, 1926-2001 1978


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.