One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.’
- 1.1as 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.
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