pa·​leo·​ge·​og·​ra·​phy | \ ˌpā-lē-ō-jē-ˈä-grə-fē How to pronounce paleogeography (audio) , especially British ˌpa- \

Definition of paleogeography

: the geography of ancient times or of a particular past geological epoch

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Other Words from paleogeography

paleogeographic \ ˌpā-​lē-​ō-​ˌjē-​ə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce paleogeographic (audio) , especially British  ˌpa-​ \ or paleogeographical \ ˌpā-​lē-​ō-​ˌjē-​ə-​ˈgra-​fi-​kəl How to pronounce paleogeographical (audio) , especially British  ˌpa-​ \ adjective
paleogeographically \ ˌpā-​lē-​ō-​ˌjē-​ə-​ˈgra-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce paleogeographically (audio) , especially British  ˌpa-​ \ adverb

Examples of paleogeography in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The position of a landmass in the geologic past — a continent’s paleogeography — could be used to claim rights to that land. Brian Romans, WIRED, "Seafloor Sunday #73: Territorial disputes in the Arctic Ocean," 19 Sep. 2010

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

First Known Use of paleogeography

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for paleogeography

paleo- + geography

Note: Probably coined on multiple occasions. The geologist Thomas Sterry Hunt regarded the word as a neologism when he used it in 1872 ("The student of organic fossils constructs from their history the sciences of paleophytology and paleozoölogy; and we may also, from the records of the attendant physical changes, construct what may be appropriately named paleogeography, or, the geographical history of these ancient geological periods." —"The Paleogeography of the North American Continent," "Read November 12, 1872," Journal of the American Geographical Society of New York, vol. 4 [1873], p. 417). French paléogéographie was used in the table of contents of Hervé Faye's translation of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos (Cosmos, Essai d'une description physique du monde, première partie, Paris, 1847), though there is no corresponding word in the German text, which lacks a table of contents.

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Time Traveler for paleogeography

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The first known use of paleogeography was in 1881

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Cite this Entry

“Paleogeography.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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