Definition of prehistoric in English:

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Pronunciation: /priːhɪˈstɒrɪk/


1Relating to or denoting the period before written records: prehistoric man
More example sentences
  • The late prehistoric archaeological record at La Crosse is dominated by a series of Oneota village sites.
  • Among sites recorded are a possible prehistoric earthwork enclosure and industrial remains.
  • There is, as yet, no convincing archaeological evidence for tin exploitation in the west of England in the prehistoric period.
1.1 informal Very old, primitive, or out of date: my dad’s electric typewriter was a prehistoric machine
More example sentences
  • The woman cranks away vainly at a machine that looks prehistoric but the man thinks faster.
  • They are the oldest of old hat: ancient hat, prehistoric hat.
  • Without doubt, the best borrowing product around by far - they make traditional mortgages look positively prehistoric.



Pronunciation: /ˌpriːhɪˈstɒrɪkli/
Example sentences
  • The two letters are on the middle-right of the stone but, more interestingly, at the top left are a couple of scratches that look as though someone has started to inscribe a pattern, maybe prehistorically, and then given up.
  • Out of 94 species of native land birds, 35 were exterminated prehistorically and 8 more have become extinct in the historical period; thus 46% of the original bird fauna is now extinct.
  • Asbestos probably formed prehistorically when hot waters containing carbon dioxide and dissolved salts under high pressure acted upon rock deposits of iron, magnesia, and silica.


Mid 19th century: from French préhistorique (see pre-, historic).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|his¦toric

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