stratum: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (strā'tum, strat'um), [key]
— pl. stra•ta stra•tums.
  1. a layer of material, naturally or artificially formed, often one of a number of parallel layers one upon another: a stratum of ancient foundations.
  2. one of a number of portions or divisions likened to layers or levels: an allegory with many strata of meaning.
  3. a single bed of sedimentary rock, generally consisting of one kind of matter representing continuous deposition.
  4. a layer of tissue; lamella.
  5. (in a plant community) a layer of vegetation, usually of the same or similar height.
  6. a layer of the ocean or the atmosphere distinguished by natural or arbitrary limits.
  7. a level or grade of a people or population with reference to social position, education, etc.: the lowest stratum of society.
  8. (in stratificational grammar) a major subdivision of linguistic structure. Cf.(def. 18).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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