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substratum

sub·stra·tum

substratum

 
pronunciation:
suhb streI tm [or] suhb strae tm
part of speech: noun
inflections: substrata, substratums
definition 1: that which forms a bed or layer below something else.
a substratum of gravel
similar words:
bed
definition 2: that which underlies or serves as the foundation for something.
derivation: substratal (adj.)