Meaning of Devonian in English:


Pronunciation /dɛˈvəʊnɪən/ /dɪˈvəʊnɪən/

See synonyms for Devonian


  • 1Relating to Devon.

    ‘Coming up in the world: The old Devonian seadog William Burroughs, second in command to Cadiz in 1587 and a ship's commander against the Armada the following year.’
    • ‘I still had the handful of yoghurt from the photo shoot and even though the yoghurt had curdled, this congealed dairy product was a feast to these backward Devonian fooles!’
    • ‘Tucked away in Devonian hills as green as the heart of a lettuce is Dartington Hall, home of Dartington international summer school.’
    • ‘Of course, being Mr BW, the first thing he did on returning from our Devonian exploits last night was to wander round the garden.’
  • 2Geology
    Relating to or denoting the fourth period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Silurian and Carboniferous periods.

    The Devonian period lasted from about 409 to 363 million years ago. During this period fish became abundant, the first amphibians evolved, and the first forests appeared

    ‘For example, the various Lower Palaeozoic and Devonian formations on the stable interior platform of North America have presented many problems of correlation largely because the different facies are diachronous.’
    • ‘Athyrids were most abundant during the Silurian and Devonian periods, but still remained common during the early Carboniferous, and even as late as the Permian.’
    • ‘The plate tectonic model of Loeschke et al. invokes crustal rifting during the Ordovician and formation of a Silurian to Devonian ocean that underwent closure during the Devonian-Carboniferous.’
    • ‘The normal fault that currently separates the Silurian basement south of Eyemouth from Devonian and Carboniferous rocks to the north may well correspond to and reactivate this tract-bounding structure.’
    • ‘The Early Triassic rifting episode followed the older Devonian and Carboniferous structural grains.’
    • ‘The significance of these other Silurian to early Devonian dates remains uncertain but large-scale lithospheric extension is the most likely cause.’
    • ‘Silurian and lower Devonian sedimentary successions are uncommon within the remnants of Gondwana.’
    • ‘Baltica collided with Avalonia and they subsequently collided with Laurentia to complete the Laurussian continent during Silurian and earliest Devonian times.’
    • ‘This complex was later involved in the collision of Siberia and Baltica and was the source of a substantial amount of intermediate to felsic volcanism during Ordovician through Devonian time.’
    • ‘These can be found by the thousand in suitable Silurian and Devonian exposures; and they are the most common vertebrate microfossil in most Silurian sediments.’
    • ‘So far, only few biostratigraphically well-constrained isotopic ages constitute the geochronological framework of the Devonian period.’
    • ‘In a general article on reef succession, Copper noted the role of stromatoporoids in the climax phase of Silurian and Devonian reefs.’
    • ‘The upper boundary of the Centroiberica zone is not conformable with younger strata and Silurian and Devonian strata may be absent.’
    • ‘Variably serpentinized Devonian mafic and ultramafic intrusive rocks occur in the western and northern parts of the map area.’
    • ‘Observations on the Silurian and Devonian systems of the United States, with descriptions of new organic remains.’
    • ‘It is composed of a number of imbricate thrust units involving Ordovician to Devonian sediments, volcanic rocks and ophiolites.’
    • ‘Although there are no outcrops of Devonian extrusive volcanic rocks in NW Scotland, they can be found in southern and central Scotland and the Orkney Islands.’
    • ‘The bedrock ranges in age from Precambrian to Mississippian, but Cambrian, Ordovician, and Devonian rocks predominate.’
    • ‘In the mangrove forests of the Andamans we have seen goggle-eyed mud skippers pull themselves out of the water, as the Devonian amphibians did, and sun their glistening bodies on the stilt roots of the wetland trees.’
    • ‘Some 360 million years ago, at the end of the Devonian era, an evolutionary experiment was underway.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Devon.

    ‘The Devonians play their biggest Scottish show to date.’
    • ‘The impact of scientific rather than practical proposals has produced a fairly unworkable cocktail of measures which Devonians are calling a ‘complete shambles’.’
    • ‘They performed with gusto to almost thirty drunk Devonians.’
    • ‘The likeable Devonian, remember, had already made headlines of his own after a confrontation with abrasive Australian Quinten Hann at the end of his first-round win.’
  • 2the DevonianGeology
    The Devonian period or the system of rocks deposited during it.