Holocene

adjective

Ho·​lo·​cene ˈhō-lə-ˌsēn How to pronounce Holocene (audio)
ˈhä-
: of, relating to, or being the present or post-Pleistocene geologic epoch see Geologic Time Table
Holocene noun

Did you know?

To geologists, we live today in the Holocene epoch, the period that began about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, when humans first began practicing agriculture. But what does Holocene have to do with "whole"? Well, in geological language, the Holocene epoch follows the Paleocene ("remotely recent"), the Eocene ("early recent"), the Oligocene ("scarcely recent"), the Miocene ("less recent"), the Pliocene ("more recent"), and the Pleistocene ("most recent") epochs—so the Holocene is the "wholly recent" period of geological time.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French holocène, from holo- holo- + -cène -cene

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Holocene was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near Holocene

Cite this Entry

“Holocene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Holocene. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Holocene

adjective
Ho·​lo·​cene ˈhō-lə-ˌsēn How to pronounce Holocene (audio)
ˈhäl-ə-
: of, relating to, or being the present epoch of geological history see geologic time
Holocene noun
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