preliterate

adjective
pre·​lit·​er·​ate | \ ˌprē-ˈli-t(ə-)rət How to pronounce preliterate (audio) \

Definition of preliterate

1a : not yet employing writing as a cultural medium
b : lacking the use of writing
2 : antedating the use of writing

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Other Words from preliterate

preliterate noun

Examples of preliterate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The likelihood of preliterate peoples first inventing tales that then somehow corresponded closely to later fossil finds seems like a stunning coincidence. Timothy John Burbery, The Conversation, 6 Aug. 2021 The enormous number of dog burials unearthed from the period between 14,000 and 4,000 years ago indicates the esteem preliterate societies had for dogs. Longreads, 22 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of preliterate

1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for preliterate

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The first known use of preliterate was in 1925

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Dictionary Entries Near preliterate

preliterary

preliterate

prelithic

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Statistics for preliterate

Last Updated

12 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preliterate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preliterate. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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