neolithic

adjective

neo·​lith·​ic ˌnē-ə-ˈli-thik How to pronounce neolithic (audio)
1
capitalized : of or relating to the latest period of the Stone Age characterized by polished stone implements
2
: belonging to an earlier age and now outmoded

Did you know?

Since lithos in Greek means "stone", the Neolithic period is the "new" or "late" period of the Stone Age, in contrast to the Paleolithic period ("old" or "early" period) and the Mesolithic period ("middle" period) of the Stone Age. The use of polished stone tools came to different parts of the world at different times, but the Neolithic Age is usually said to begin around 9000 B.C. and to end around 3000 B.C., when the Bronze Age begins. The Neolithic is the era when the farming of plants and animals begins, and when, as a result, humans first begin to create permanent settlements.

Example Sentences

my old manual typewriter now seems positively neolithic
Recent Examples on the Web Social media’s neolithic age is simply giving way to the next era, and the old dinosaurs are sinking in tar. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 28 Oct. 2022 For a disease that affected even our neolithic ancestors, the world had to wait until 2021 for the first-ever malaria vaccine. Nadia A. Sam-agudu, The Atlantic, 4 Mar. 2022 Whereas animals might migrate, seeking more hospitable habitats, a Norman church, Roman villa or neolithic stone circle cannot move. Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2021 D’Apollonio works improvisationally and is inspired by neolithic sculpture. Diana Budds, Curbed, 30 July 2021 Among them are jaw-dropping images of the second smallest planet in the solar system, a comet passing over neolithic monument Stonehenge, and the path of the full moon over Paris at night during one of the city's lockdowns. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 1 July 2021 The government’s collection contained an extraordinarily diverse array of artifacts: neolithic tools, Bronze Age statuary and Greek, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic masterpieces. New York Times, 4 Mar. 2021 Some estimates have humans observing solstices as early as the Stone Age (~2.5 million years ago) while others posit that neolithic humans used the summer solstice as an indicator for planting and harvesting crops. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 20 June 2020 Some estimates have humans observing solstices as early as the Stone Age (~2.5 million years ago) while others posit that neolithic humans used the summer solstice as an indicator for planting and harvesting crops. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 20 June 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neolithic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

neo- + -lithic

Note: Term introduced, along with Paleolithic, by the British politician and scientist Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913) in Pre-historic Times, as Illustrated by Ancient Remains, and the Manners and Customs of Modern Savages (London, 1865), p. 3.

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of neolithic was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near neolithic

Cite this Entry

“Neolithic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neolithic. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

Neolithic

adjective
Neo·​lith·​ic
ˌnē-ə-ˈlith-ik
: of, relating to, or being the latest period of the Stone Age which is marked by the use of polished stone tools
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ