Definition of prehistory in English:

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Pronunciation: /priːˈhɪstri/


[mass noun]
1The period of time before written records: myths that stretch back into prehistory
More example sentences
  • Archeological findings have placed knowledge of Iranian prehistory at middle Paleolithic times.
  • The earliest of seven main subdivisions of Andean prehistory, spanning the period 9000-1800 bc, embraces the time from the earliest human presence in the region down to the first use of ceramics.
  • Many vertebrae were cleaved, suggesting animals had been divided into left and right portions, an unusual butchery practice for this period of prehistory, perhaps for feasting.
1.1The events or conditions leading up to a particular occurrence or phenomenon: the prehistory of capitalism
More example sentences
  • A given social episode or condition may be treated in the most detailed and compelling manner, but its prehistory is nearly always left out of the picture.
  • It provides a critical genealogy, even prehistory, of the debates leading up to the problems of intermedia in the present.
  • Hip-hop's prehistory offers a team of curators any number of potential entry points: African griots and other oral poetic traditions, the Beats, talking blues, Muhammad Ali trash-talk.



Pronunciation: /priːhɪˈstɔːrɪən/
Example sentences
  • The scale of contacts with the ‘civilising’ influence of Rome far exceeded anything that Scottish prehistorians had previously imagined.
  • The significance of these stones, which are common features over much of Bronze Age Europe, has long been the subject of debate among prehistorians.
  • I, and others, venture into Iron Age studies too, and welcome it when prehistorians can be tempted into the Roman period.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|his¦tory

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