prehuman

1 of 2

adjective

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

prehuman

2 of 2

noun

: 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
Adjective
Biologists worldwide are increasingly talking about using large herbivores like the ones sharp-eyed passengers can spot from the train to re-create prehistoric, and sometimes even prehuman, ecosystems. Andrew Curry, Discover Magazine, 4 May 2010 The shadows of many prehuman civilizations could, in principle, lurk hidden in such subtleties. Steven Ashley, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2018
Noun
Geological events that took place deep in the prehuman past determined the distribution of the hydrocarbon deposits—oil and coal—that have intimately shaped the geopolitics of the last century and a half. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 10 May 2023 Unexpected fossil finds keep showing us an ever-expanding variety of human and prehuman species. Jill Neimark, Discover Magazine, 28 July 2011 Probably not, given that the earliest prehuman bipeds were more forest-dwelling. David P. Barash, WSJ, 16 June 2021 His greed is hard-wired, a genetic inheritance, a prehuman trait that this human has turned into a rage for power. New York Times, 30 Nov. 2020 The researchers have proposed testing prehuman fossils for the presence or absence of this sialic acid. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 July 2019 Neu5Gc was lost when the mutation in prehumans inactivated a gene called CMAH, functional in other animals. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 July 2019 The shadows of many prehuman civilizations could, in principle, lurk hidden in such subtleties. Steven Ashley, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prehuman.' 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

Adjective

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prehuman was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near prehuman

Cite this Entry

“Prehuman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prehuman. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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