Definition of Paleolithic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpālēəˈliTHik/


1Relating to or denoting the early phase of the Stone Age, lasting about 2.5 million years, when primitive stone implements were used.
Example sentences
  • Evolutionists have devised an elaborate classification system for stone tools ranging from the most primitive early Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the youngest, exquisitely crafted tools.
  • This would mean that a number of groups of people using early Paleolithic stone tools entered the New World at the same time as the Clovis people.
  • Like this one, Hosfield's Paleolithic study used stone tools as observation units.
1.1 (as noun the Paleolithic) The Paleolithic period. Also called Old Stone Age.

The Paleolithic period extends from the first appearance of artifacts to the end of the last ice age (about 8,500 years ago). The period has been divided into the Lower Paleolithic, with the earliest forms of humankind and the emergence of hand-ax industries (ending about 120,000 years ago), the Middle Paleolithic, the era of Neanderthal humans (ending about 35,000 years ago), and the Upper Paleolithic, during which only modern Homo sapiens is known to have existed.


Mid 19th century: from paleo- 'of prehistoric times' + Greek lithos 'stone' + -ic.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Pa·le·o·lith·ic

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