Definition of prehistory in English:


Line breaks: pre|his¦tory
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: /-ˈstɔːrɪən/
More 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.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody