pre·​con·​tact ˌprē-ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce precontact (audio)
: of or relating to the period before contact of an indigenous people with an outside culture

Examples of precontact in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Spanish who arrived in Central and South America about a century earlier, and other European colonists who followed to the North, brought diseases so devastating to the precontact population that researchers have estimated 90 percent of the existing inhabitants were killed. Maryn McKenna, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2020 Williams presents a history of the region, including its precontact way of life, early exploration by Captain Cook and other westerners, and the devastation by the flu epidemic of 1918-19, which killed half the population. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Dec. 2021 The authors also found a similar relationship between the precontact dogs and and modern Eurasian Arctic dogs like the Siberian husky. Deborah Netburn,, 5 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'precontact.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of precontact was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near precontact

Cite this Entry

“Precontact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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