Meaning of Phanerozoic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌfan(ə)rəˈzəʊɪk/


  • Relating to or denoting the aeon covering the whole of time since the beginning of the Cambrian period, and comprising the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras.

    Compare with Cryptozoic

    ‘these hypotheses are difficult to test using Phanerozoic fossils’
    • ‘The Indian plate rocks include late Archaean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic continental margin sequences.’
    • ‘So far, about 17 macrofossil - rich hydrocarbon seep systems have been recognised in the Phanerozoic strata of Jurassic to Pliocene age.’
    • ‘Beneath the Møre Basin, developed on a Phanerozoic domain, the lithospheric thickness is 125 km, decreasing to values of 80-60 km beneath the Cenozoic rifted domain.’
    • ‘There seems to be no evidence of low palaeolatitude glaciation in the three Phanerozoic glacial episodes.’
    • ‘Non-symbiotic corals have been an important constituent of reefs since at least the beginning of the Phanerozoic eon.’


  • the PhanerozoicThe Phanerozoic aeon or the system of rocks deposited during it.

    • ‘by comparison with most of the Phanerozoic, our age is bitterly cold and dry’

The Phanerozoic began about 570 million years ago, and covers the period in which rocks contain evidence of abundant life in the form of obvious mineralized fossils


Late 19th century (designating animals living in exposed conditions above the surface of the ground): from Greek phaneros ‘visible, evident’ + zōion ‘animal’ + -ic.