See also: tectònic



1650s, in sense of building, from Late Latin tectonicus, from Ancient Greek τεκτονικός (tektonikós, pertaining to building), from Ancient Greek τέκτων (téktōn, carpenter, joiner, maker), from Proto-Indo-European *tek- (to make) (from which also texture). In sense of geology, attested 1894.[1] Surface analysis is τέκτων (téktōn) +‎ -ic (pertaining to).


tectonic (not comparable)

  1. Of or relating to construction or to architecture
  2. (biology) Structural
  3. (geology) Of, relating to, or caused by large-scale movements of the Earth's (or a similar planet's) lithosphere
    • 2010, BioWare, Mass Effect 2 (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Parnassus:
      A boiling hot rock planet with extreme tectonic activity, Parnassus is home to many volcanic mountains. Surface scans reveal several geothermal and solar power stations, tapping the planet's abundant energy.
    • 2021 October 20, “NASA’s DAVINCI Explores Ten Mysteries of Venus”, in NASA[1], archived from the original on 20 October 2021[2]:
      At some point, Venus may have had its own form of plate tectonics – possibly different from the plate tectonics here on Earth. Water and rock measurements obtained from the DAVINCI mission, combined with the Venus global mapping information by NASA’s VERITAS mission, another recently selected mission to Venus that is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, can be used to decipher how these tectonic patterns may have operated on Venus, and why the planet was unable to sustain them in a fashion similar to Earth.
  4. (figurative) momentous, utter, vast
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[3]:
      But it would be a mistake to imagine that we are benignly coming full circle, or even that we are finding that the old ways are still the most efficient. A tectonic shift has occurred.

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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “tectonic”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.




From French tectonique.


tectonic m or n (feminine singular tectonică, masculine plural tectonici, feminine and neuter plural tectonice)

  1. tectonic