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[pree-hi-stawr-ik, -stor-, pree-i-] /ˌpri hɪˈstɔr ɪk, -ˈstɒr-, ˌpri ɪ-/
of or relating to the time or a period prior to recorded history:
The dinosaur is a prehistoric beast.
Slang. outdated; passé:
My mom has these prehistoric ideas about proper dress.
Sometimes, prehistorical.
Origin of prehistoric
First recorded in 1850-55; pre- + historic
Related forms
prehistorically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prehistoric
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • prehistoric man, as I just told you, was on a fair way to progress.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • I can not give you any positive dates connected with prehistoric Man.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • He also gave me an admirable chameleon, a prehistoric, fabulous sort of animal.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • In this way we can imagine the main points of the prehistoric evolution of marriage.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Well, it was as old as the ship—a prehistoric hose, and past repair.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for prehistoric


of or relating to man's development before the appearance of the written word
Derived Forms
prehistorically, adverb
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 prehistoric

1832, modeled on French préhistorique; see pre- + historic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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