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.
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”
form layers or strata
render fertile and preserve by placing between layers of earth or sand
develop different social levels, classes, or castes
divide society into social classes or castes