prehistoric

adjective
pre·​his·​tor·​ic | \ ˌprē-(h)i-ˈstȯr-ik How to pronounce prehistoric (audio) , -ˈstär-\
variants: or less commonly prehistorical \ ˌprē-​(h)i-​ˈstȯr-​i-​kəl How to pronounce prehistorical (audio) , -​ˈstär-​ \

Definition of prehistoric

1 : of, relating to, or existing in times antedating written history
2 : of or relating to a language in a period of its development from which contemporary records of its sounds and forms have not been preserved
3 : regarded as being outdated or outmoded prehistoric attitudes

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Other Words from prehistoric

prehistorically \ ˌprē-​(h)i-​ˈstȯr-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce prehistorically (audio) , -​ˈstär-​ \ adverb

Examples of prehistoric in a Sentence

His attitudes about women are downright prehistoric. prehistoric notions about mental illness that have no place in today's world

Recent Examples on the Web

The prehistoric shark, which went extinct 3.6 million years ago, could grow up to 60 feet in length. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Sharks! on exhibit through summer at the Bruce," 3 July 2019 The commission says female iguanas can lay nearly 80 eggs a year, and South Florida’s warm climate is perfect for the prehistoric-looking animals. Curt Anderson, orlandosentinel.com, "State declares open season on pesky South Florida iguanas," 3 July 2019 And sailing boats had not yet appeared, So Kaifu’s team has been building and testing watercraft that prehistoric seafarers might have paddled. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Explorers to voyage to Japan in primitive boat in hopes of unlocking an ancient mystery," 2 July 2019 Lights dance purposefully on the consoles, with each one playing Apollo-accurate video broadcasts as would have been seen at the time of the moon landings, or displaying grids of numbers and prehistoric computer code. David W. Brown, BostonGlobe.com, "NASA reopens Apollo Mission Control room that once landed men on moon," 29 June 2019 Like the ones at St. Nazaire and Lorient, its colossal berths, titanic dimensions and worn concrete today give the structure the appearance of a relic of prehistoric times. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, "Hulu’s Das Boot Gets Lost at Sea," 19 June 2019 Some sort of prehistoric sign to understand our emotions. Brooke Mazurek, Billboard, "Why Justin Bieber, J Balvin & More Are Obsessed With Smiley Faces in Fashion," 14 June 2019 The dinosaur expert, who usually makes models of prehistoric creatures, says people in Britain need to know there are Americans who don’t support Trump. Washington Post, "The Latest: Trump says he doesn’t think Markle is ‘nasty’," 5 June 2019 Consider our prehistoric ancestors, the hunters and gatherers who survived through feast and famine, abundance and scarcity. Rahul Jandial, Md, Health.com, "The Popular Diet One Neurosurgeon Swears By as a Way to Boost His Brainpower," 5 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of prehistoric

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for prehistoric

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prehistoric

The first known use of prehistoric was in 1832

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More Definitions for prehistoric

prehistoric

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prehistoric

: of, relating to, or existing in the time before people could write
informal + disapproving : very old or outdated

prehistoric

adjective
pre·​his·​tor·​ic | \ ˌprē-hi-ˈstȯr-ik How to pronounce prehistoric (audio) \

Kids Definition of prehistoric

: relating to or existing in the time before written history began prehistoric animals

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