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 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, "The Way We Treat Our Pets Is More Paleolithic Than Medieval," 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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Cite this Entry

“Preliterate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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