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[pey-lee-uh-zoh-ik or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li əˈzoʊ ɪk or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/ Geology
noting or pertaining to an era occurring between 570 million and 230 million years ago, characterized by the advent of fish, insects, and reptiles.
the Paleozoic Era or group of systems.
Origin of Paleozoic
1830-40; paleo- + -zoic < Greek zōïkós pertaining to animals; see zo-, -ic
Related forms
post-Paleozoic, adjective
pre-Paleozoic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Paleozoic
Historical Examples
  • The period following on after Archean time is called, by geologists, Paleozoic time.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • It is but a glimpse we get into the immeasurable distance of the Paleozoic.

    The Guardians of the Columbia

    John H. (John Harvey) Williams
  • They existed only during the first half of the Paleozoic era.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Cambrian , the first period of the Paleozoic era,—that of the first abundance of marine animals.


    Allen Chaffee
  • See what it means to tell these kids about the Paleozoic age and sich, Ruthie!

  • The Paleozoic era witnessed the first appearance of vertebrate life.

    North America Israel C. Russell
  • This is called the "Paleozoic" period, which means the period of "ancient life."

  • The coal we burn to-day is mainly the remains of the wonderful growth of the flowerless vegetation of the Paleozoic Ace.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • But, toward the close of the Paleozoic time, we meet with representatives of the backbone family.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • The class Mammalia, to which man belongs, had no representative on the earth during the extended Paleozoic time.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
Word Origin and History for Paleozoic

in reference to the geological era between the Precambrian and the Mesozoic, 1838, coined by Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) from paleo- + Greek zoe "life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Paleozoic in Science
The era of geologic time from about 540 to 245 million years ago. The beginning of the Paleozoic Era is characterized by a great diversity of marine invertebrate animals. Primitive fish and reptiles, land plants, and insects also first appeared during this time. The end of the Paleozoic is marked by the largest recorded mass extinction in the Earth's history, which wiped out nearly 90% of known marine life forms. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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