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
    see moresee less

    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

    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”

Word Family