Stratification means arranging something, or something that has been arranged, into categories. By the time you figure out the complex social stratification of your high school class, from jocks to nerds and everything between, you’re ready to graduate.

Stratification is a system or formation of layers, classes, or categories. Stratification is used to describe a particular way of arranging seeds while planting, as well as the geological layers of rocks. But like so many science words, somehow it’s not content to stay in the scientific realm, and must also have a place in the social sphere, where its job is to categorize and arrange people into groups: upper, middle, and lower classes, for example.

Definitions of stratification

n forming or depositing in layers

(geology) the arrangement of leaflike layers in a rock
Type of:
geologic process, geological process
(geology) a natural process whereby geological features are modified

n a layered configuration

Type of:
configuration, conformation, contour, form, shape
any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)

n the placing of seeds in damp sand or sawdust or peat moss in order to preserve them or promote germination

Type of:
emplacement, locating, location, placement, position, positioning
the act of putting something in a certain place

n the act or process or arranging persons into classes or social strata

Type of:
assortment, categorisation, categorization, classification, compartmentalisation, compartmentalization
the act of distributing things into classes or categories of the same type

n the condition of being arranged in social strata or classes within a group

social stratification
Type of:
a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing

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