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[suh b-duhk-shuh n] /səbˈdʌk ʃən/
an act or instance of subducting; subtraction or withdrawal.
Geology. the process by which collision of the earth's crustal plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, localized along the juncture (subduction zone) of two plates.
Origin of subduction
1570-80; < Latin subductiōn-, stem of subductiō pulling up, computation; see subduct, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subduction
  • Many of the world's largest earthquakes take place at subduction zones where tectonic plates collide, forcing one under the other.
  • Water is key to subduction, and subduction seems to be what is unique.
  • In this respect the mixing hypothesis makes good sense in many andesites in subduction zone environments.
  • The melting of the rock occurs at the subduction zones as one plate is pushed under the other.
  • In the view above, the main subduction zone where the plate motions are more orthogonal are further south.
  • In the ocean, subduction zones can create huge, deep trenches.
  • He said great earthquakes along patches of fault in this subduction zone come as no surprise.
  • It lies along a subduction zone, where one tectonic plate slips beneath another, shoving it upward.
  • Volcanoes can rise in subduction zones, areas where plates meet and one is pushed beneath another.
  • Plates slide above and below each other in a tectonic activity called subduction.
British Dictionary definitions for subduction


the act of subducting, esp of turning the eye downwards
(geology) the process of one tectonic plate sliding under another, resulting in tensions and faulting in the earth's crust, with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for subduction

early 15c., "withdrawal, removal" (originally of noxious substances from the body), from Latin subductionem (nominative subductio), noun of action from past participle stem of subducere (see subduce). Geological sense is attested from 1970, from French (1951).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subduction in Science
A geologic process in which one edge of one lithospheric plate is forced below the edge of another. The denser of the two plates sinks beneath the other. As it descends, the plate often generates seismic and volcanic activity (from melting and upward migration of magma) in the overriding plate. Compare obduction.

subduct verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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