pre·​hu·​man | \ (ˈ)prē-ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce prehuman (audio) , -ˈyü-\

Definition of prehuman

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : antedating the appearance of human beings
2 : of, relating to, or being an extinct primate and especially an extinct hominid that resembles or is ancestral to humans



Definition of prehuman (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extinct primate and especially an extinct hominid that resembles or is ancestral to humans

Examples of prehuman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The shadows of many prehuman civilizations could, in principle, lurk hidden in such subtleties. Steven Ashley, Scientific American, "Could an Industrial Prehuman Civilization Have Existed on Earth Before Ours?," 23 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of prehuman


1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1922, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of prehuman was in 1844

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Comments on prehuman

What made you want to look up prehuman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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