Definition of Cretaceous in English:

Cretaceous

adjective

  • Relating to or denoting the last period of the Mesozoic era, between the Jurassic and Tertiary periods.

    ‘the lizard was believed to have lived during the Cretaceous period’
    • ‘As such, they have been found fossilized in Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, and have been used to reconstruct paleoclimates.’
    • ‘The foothills of the Pyrenees are composed of sedimentary Jurassic and Cretaceous limestones which favour the creation of natural cave systems.’
    • ‘The Jurassic and Cretaceous together were the age of giant reptiles.’
    • ‘These crucial means of breeding prevailed throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous times.’
    • ‘For that matter, extant birds are quite different from Jurassic and Cretaceous birds.’

The Cretaceous lasted from about 146 to 65 million years ago. The climate was warm and the sea level rose; the period is characterized especially in north-western Europe and parts of North America by the deposition of chalk. The first flowering plants emerged and the domination of the dinosaurs continued, although they died out quite abruptly towards the end of it

noun

  • the CretaceousThe last period of the Mesozoic era, between the Jurassic and Tertiary periods, or the system of rocks deposited during it.

    ‘less than a third of sharks and rays went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous’

The Cretaceous lasted from about 146 to 65 million years ago. The climate was warm and the sea level rose; the period is characterized especially in north-western Europe and parts of North America by the deposition of chalk. The first flowering plants emerged and the domination of the dinosaurs continued, although they died out quite abruptly towards the end of it

Origin

Late 17th century from Latin cretaceus (from creta ‘chalk’) + -ous.

Pronunciation

Cretaceous

/krɪˈteɪʃəs/