Definition of Palaeolithic in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌpalɪə(ʊ)ˈlɪθɪk/
Pronunciation: /ˌpeɪlɪə(ʊ)ˈlɪθɪk/
(US Paleolithic)


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 Palaeolithic) The Palaeolithic period. Also called Old Stone Age.

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


Mid 19th century: from palaeo- + Greek lithos 'stone' + -ic.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Palaeo|lith¦ic

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words