Other forms: stratified; stratifying; stratifies

Stratify means to divide into layers or classes. Announcing pay raises for only half of the employees in a company would be a quick way to stratify the office.

Stratify is often used in the context of geology, when materials in the earth’s crust stratify, or form layers. This phenomenon serves as an apt metaphor for other uses of the word, particularly as it's applied to social situations. If you attend a party for geologists and notice that the mineralogists are ignoring the petrologists (and the vulcanologist didn’t even bother to show up), you might conclude that something has caused this group of geologists to stratify.

Definitions of stratify
  1. verb
    form, arrange, or deposit in layers
    “The fish are stratified in barrels”
    “The rock was stratified by the force of the water”
    “A statistician stratifies the list of names according to the addresses”
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    arrange rocks in alternating strata
    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  2. verb
    form layers or strata
    “The rock stratifies
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    type of:
    arrange, set up
    put into a proper or systematic order
  3. verb
    render fertile and preserve by placing between layers of earth or sand
    stratify seeds”
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    type of:
    fecundate, fertilise, fertilize, inseminate
    introduce semen into (a female)
  4. verb
    develop different social levels, classes, or castes
    “Society stratifies when the income gap widens”
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  5. verb
    divide society into social classes or castes
    “Income distribution often stratifies a society”
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘stratify'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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