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[tek-ton-iks] /tɛkˈtɒn ɪks/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
the science or art of assembling, shaping, or ornamenting materials in construction; the constructive arts in general.
Origin of tectonics
1625-35; see tectonic, -ics Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tectonics
  • In between come explanations of geology and plate tectonics.
  • Without plate tectonics, life might never have survived here.
  • Plate tectonics cause sedimentary layers to be pushed down, folded over, and pushed up.
  • Climate, volcanism, plate tectonics all played a key role in regulating the oxygen level during various time periods.
  • The planet does lose some heat through the processes that drive plate tectonics, especially at mid-ocean ridges.
  • Plate tectonics was considered ridiculous by the entire scientific community.
  • Mountains and valleys emerge and disappear due to plate tectonics.
  • Those new species were spreading around the globe even as plate tectonics was starting to carry the continents apart.
  • Ok, here's a wild take- the cosmic equivalent of plate tectonics.
  • Plate tectonics, changes in climate and natural disaster have all affected species development.
British Dictionary definitions for tectonics


noun (functioning as sing)
the art and science of construction or building
the study of the processes by which the earth's crust has attained its present structure See also plate tectonics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tectonics

1899 in the geological sense, from tectonic (also see -ics); earlier it meant "building or constructive arts in general" (1850).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tectonics in Science
The branch of geology that deals with the broad structural and deformational features of the outer part of the Earth, their origins, and the relationships between them. See more at plate tectonics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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