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[nee-uh-lith-ik] /ˌni əˈlɪθ ɪk/
(sometimes lowercase) Anthropology. of, relating to, or characteristic of the last phase of the Stone Age, marked by the domestication of animals, the development of agriculture, and the manufacture of pottery and textiles: commonly thought to have begun c9000–8000 b.c. in the Middle East.
(usually lowercase) belonging to or remaining from an earlier era; outdated; passé.
Origin of Neolithic
First recorded in 1860-65; neo- + -lithic
Related forms
preneolithic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Neolithic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So we may conclude that at least 6,400 years ago Neolithic man used the cave.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • I said that “if” the stone be Neolithic, it “may” be the missing link in my argument.

    The Clyde Mystery Andrew Lang
  • When the ice-fields cleared off Neolithic man had his innings.

  • The sides of one Neolithic tomb at Ballas were lined with bars of this kind.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • At the head stood an alabaster vase (X, 31) of a late Neolithic shape.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • These cists were found at Ballas both in “stairway” tombs and in open Neolithic graves.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • No. 57 may be noticed as being like a Neolithic form, with a common Neolithic mark.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • The only people who did not laugh were Teshumai Tewindrow and all the Neolithic ladies.

    Just So Stories Rudyard Kipling
  • Let the Neolithic ladies wash the mud out of the stranger's hair.'

    Just So Stories Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for Neolithic


the cultural period that lasted in SW Asia from about 9000 to 6000 bc and in Europe from about 4000 to 2400 bc and was characterized by primitive crop growing and stock rearing and the use of polished stone and flint tools and weapons
relating to this period
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
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Word Origin and History for Neolithic



"pertaining to the later Stone Age," 1865, coined by John Lubbock, later Baron Avebury, (1834-1913) from neo- + -lith "stone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Neolithic in Science
The period of human culture that began around 10,000 years ago in the Middle East and later in other parts of the world. It is characterized by the beginning of farming, the domestication of animals, the development of crafts such as pottery and weaving, and the making of polished stone tools. The Neolithic Period is generally considered to end for any particular region with the introduction of metalworking, writing, or other developments of urban civilization. Also called New Stone Age. Compare Mesolithic, Paleolithic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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