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  1. a stone of great size, especially in ancient construction work, as the Cyclopean masonry, or in prehistoric Neolithic remains, as dolmens or menhirs.

Origin of megalith

First recorded in 1850–55; mega- + -lith
Related formsmeg·a·lith·ic, adjectivepre·meg·a·lith·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for megalithic

Historical Examples

  • The megalithic constructions do not all date back to the same epoch.

    Primitive Man

    Louis Figuier

  • He could hardly, however, have built a megalithic work of this kind.

    Inca Land

    Hiram Bingham

  • Yet, Shang culture cannot well be called a "megalithic" culture.

  • The megalithic chambers within the mound are of three types.

  • Such a custom is not unknown in other parts of the megalithic area.

British Dictionary definitions for megalithic


  1. a stone of great size, esp one forming part of a prehistoric monumentSee also alignment (def. 6), circle (def. 11)
Derived Formsmegalithic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for megalithic


1836, from mega- "large" + lithos "stone" (see litho-) + -ic.



huge prehistoric stone, 1853, back-formation from megalithic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper