lithosphere [lith-uh-sfeer] ExamplesWord Origin noun Geology.

  1. the solid portion of the earth (distinguished from atmosphere, hydrosphere).
  2. the crust and upper mantle of the earth.

Origin of lithosphere First recorded in 1885–90; litho- + -sphere Also called ge·o·sphere [jee-uh-sfeer] /ˈdʒi əˌsfɪər/. Related formslith·o·spher·ic [lith-uh-sfer-ik] /ˌlɪθ əˈsfɛr ɪk/, adjective Examples from the Web for lithosphere Historical Examples of lithosphere

  • Our globe is a cooling and contracting body, and depression must always be the prevailing movement of the lithosphere.

    Fragments of Earth Lore

    James Geikie

  • Thus were formed the oceanic basin and the continental arches of the lithosphere.

    Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, February 1900


  • The lithosphere is the more or less stable crust of the earth, which may have been, to begin with, about fifty miles in thickness.

    The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)

    J. Arthur Thomson

  • The accompanying figure shows the boundaries of lithosphere plates that are presently active.


    Robert I. Tilling

  • These igneous rocks were consolidated either upon the surface of the lithosphere or in its interior.

    The Principles of Stratigraphical Geology

    J. E. Marr

  • British Dictionary definitions for lithosphere lithosphere noun

    1. the rigid outer layer of the earth, having an average thickness of about 75 km and comprising the earth’s crust and the solid part of the mantle above the asthenosphere

    Word Origin and History for lithosphere n.

    “solid part of the earth’s surface,” 1881; see litho- “stone” + sphere.

    lithosphere in Science lithosphere [lĭth′ə-sfîr′]

    1. The outer part of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle. It is about 55 km (34 mi) thick beneath the oceans and up to about 200 km (124 mi) thick beneath the continents. The high velocity with which seismic waves propagate through the lithosphere suggests that it is completely solid. Compare asthenosphere atmosphere hydrosphere.

    lithosphere in Culture lithosphere [(lith-uh-sfeer)]

    The outer layer of the Earth, comprising the crust and the upper part of the mantle. The lithosphere is about sixty miles thick.

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