noun Geology.
the solid portion of the earth (distinguished from atmosphere, hydrosphere ).
the crust and upper mantle of the earth.
Also called geosphere [jee-uh-sfeer] .

1885–90; litho- + -sphere

lithospheric [lith-uh-sfer-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To lithosphere
World English Dictionary
lithosphere (ˈlɪθəˌsfɪə)
the rigid outer layer of the earth, having an average thickness of about 75 km and comprising the earth's crust and the solid part of the mantle above the asthenosphere

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"solid part of the earth's surface," from Gk. lithos "stone" + sphere.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
lithosphere  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (lĭth'ə-sfîr')  Pronunciation Key 

(click for larger image in new window)

The outer part of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle. It is about 55 km (34 mi) thick beneath the oceans and up to about 200 km (124 mi) thick beneath the continents. The high velocity with which seismic waves propagate through the lithosphere suggests that it is completely solid. Compare asthenosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
lithosphere [(lith-uh-sfeer)]

The outer layer of the Earth, comprising the crust and the upper part of the mantle. The lithosphere is about sixty miles thick.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The crust and the upper portion of the mantle form the lithosphere.
The atmosphere is the layer of air that stretches above the lithosphere.
It exists at the interface of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.
The uppermost part of the mantle is solid and, along with the crust, forms the
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature