Definitions

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

  • adjective Relating to or resulting from the forces that create the structural and deformational features of the earth's lithosphere, especially its continents, oceans, and mountains.
  • adjective Of or relating to a tectonic plate or plates.
  • adjective Relating to construction or building.
  • adjective Architectural.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In geology, relating to structure; structural: as, tectonic geology (structural geology); tectonic valleys, valleys due to geologic structure rather than to erosion.
  • Of or pertaining to building or construction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to building or construction; architectural.
  • adjective (Biol.) Structural.
  • adjective (Geol. & Phys. Geog.) Of, pert. to, or designating, the rock structures and external forms resulting from the deformation of the earth's crust.

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

  • adjective of or relating to construction or to architecture
  • adjective geology of, relating to, or caused by large-scale movements of the Earth's lithosphere

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

  • adjective pertaining to the structure or movement of the earth's crust
  • adjective of or pertaining to construction or architecture

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin tectonicus, from Greek tektonikos, from tektōn, builder; see teks- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1650s, in sense of building, from Late Latin tectonicus, from Ancient Greek pertaining to building (tektonikos), from Ancient Greek τέκτων (tekton, "carpenter, joiner, maker"), from Proto-Indo-European *tek- (“to make”) (from which also texture). In sense of geology, attested 1894. Surface analysis is τέκτων (tekton) +‎ -ic (“pertaining to”).

Examples

  • But increasingly, there are observers and thinkers who say that the world is in the middle of what they call a tectonic shift in the way that we work - which creates the economy - and technology has made it possible to do more or build more steel, make more cars or shoes, grow more food with fewer people.

    NPR Topics: News

  • It's funny you should say that, because I recently heard from John Dewey, who is a very important figure in tectonic plate theory.

    When the Earth Flexes Its Muscles

  • There was a recent discovery in human terms that the earth a surface is broken up into these enormous plates called tectonic plates, tectonic sort of a Greek word that means build or builder.

    CNN Transcript Oct 8, 2005

  • What's more, many layers had been previously cracked by long-term tectonic movements in the area.

    U.S. News

  • And just as earthquakes are the expression of tectonic pressures that build slowly over decades, there were unseen forces in the cultural history of Japan that laid the groundwork for Glaxo-SmithKline’s remarkable success.

    Crazy Like Us

  • The swarm events are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults and are called tectonic earthquakes and are not thought to be caused by underground movement of magma.

    Archive of Yellowstone Updates for 2010

  • The swarm events are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults and are called tectonic earthquakes and are not thought to be caused by underground movement of magma.

    Yellowstone Recent Status Report, Updates, and Information Releases

  • The swarm events are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults and are called tectonic earthquakes and are not thought to be caused by underground movement of magma.

    Yellowstone Recent Status Report, Updates, and Information Releases

  • The name came from the idea of tectonic plates colliding, he says, which represents Tecktonik's different dance styles coming together.

    The Turf War Over a Dance Craze

  • The Earth's crust is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, broken into several pieces known as tectonic plates that constantly bump and grind or slide past each other.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

Comments

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  • Seen here, "Teutonic plates." Love it.

    August 24, 2011