Definition of Silurian in English:



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

    • ‘Conventionally, the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian systems constitute the Lower Palaeozoic and the Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian comprise the Upper Palaeozoic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The so-called ophiolitic relics at the Moldanubian-Brunovistulian boundary show Early Ordovician to Silurian crystallization ages.’
    • ‘Studies of acritarchs and chitinozoans suggest Ordovician to Silurian ages.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Silurian The Silurian period or the system of rocks deposited during it.


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