Meaning of craton in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkratɒn/


  • A large stable block of the earth's crust forming the nucleus of a continent.

    ‘Mobile belts of various ages seem to have stitched Africa's Archean cratons together by Himalayan-style continental collisions.’
    • ‘Much of the craton remained stable up to Triassic time, with sedimentary sequences dominated by shallow-water and subaerial sediments.’
    • ‘Many workers have interpreted the Zimbabwe craton as vertically accreted crust.’
    • ‘Scotland lies on ancient continental crust known as the Hebridean craton.’
    • ‘Although continents were small, they consisted of stable cratons.’


1930s alteration of kratogen in the same sense, from Greek kratos ‘strength’.