Definition of Silurian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the third period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Ordovician and Devonian periods.

    • ‘These are overlain by low-grade metamorphosed sediments and volcanics of Ordovician and Silurian age.’
    • ‘Another hiatus occurs between the Kap Holbek Formation and the overlying middle Lower Ordovician - Silurian carbonate and elastic rocks.’
    • ‘Studies of acritarchs and chitinozoans suggest Ordovician to Silurian ages.’
    • ‘Conventionally, the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian systems constitute the Lower Palaeozoic and the Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian comprise the Upper Palaeozoic.’
    • ‘The so-called ophiolitic relics at the Moldanubian-Brunovistulian boundary show Early Ordovician to Silurian crystallization ages.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Silurian The Silurian period or the system of rocks deposited during it.

The Silurian lasted from about 439 to 409 million years ago. The first true fish and land plants appeared, and the end of the period is marked by the climax of the Caledonian orogeny


Early 18th century: from Latin Silures (denoting a people of ancient SE Wales) + -ian.