[suhb-strey-tuhm, -strat-uhm, suhb-strey-tuhm, -strat-uhm]
noun, plural substrata [suhb-strey-tuh, -strat-uh, -suhb-strey-tuh, -strat-uh] , substratums.
something that is spread or laid under something else; a stratum or layer lying under another.
something that underlies or serves as a basis or foundation.
Agriculture. the subsoil.
Biology. the base or material on which a nonmotile organism lives or grows.
Philosophy. substance, considered as that which supports accidents or attributes.
Photography. a layer of material placed directly on a film or plate as a foundation for the sensitive emulsion.
Historical Linguistics. a set of features of a language traceable to the influence of an earlier language that it has replaced, especially among a subjugated population: The French word for 80, quatre-vingts (“four twenties”), may reflect a Celtic substratum.
Compare superstratum.

1625–35; < Neo-Latin; see sub-, stratum

substrative, substratal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
substratum (sʌbˈstrɑːtəm, -ˈstreɪ-)
n , pl -strata
1.  any layer or stratum lying underneath another
2.  a basis or foundation; groundwork
3.  the nonliving material on which an animal or plant grows or lives
4.  geology
 a.  the solid rock underlying soils, gravels, etc; bedrock
 b.  the surface to which a fixed organism is attached
5.  sociol any of several subdivisions or grades within a stratum
6.  photog Sometimes shortened to: sub a binding layer by which an emulsion is made to adhere to a glass or film base
7.  philosophy substance considered as that in which attributes and accidents inhere
8.  linguistics Compare superstratum the language of an indigenous population when replaced by the language of a conquering or colonizing population, esp as it influences the form of the dominant language or of any mixed languages arising from their contact
[C17: from New Latin, from Latin substrātus strewn beneath, from substernere to spread under, from sub- + sternere to spread]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
substratum   (sŭb'strā'təm, -strāt'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural substrata or substratums
  1. An underlying layer or stratum.

  2. A surface on which an organism grows or is attached; a substrate.

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