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[adjective pree-skool; noun pree-skool]
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  1. of, relating to, or intended for a child between infancy and school age: new methods of preschool education.
  1. a school or nursery for preschool children.

Origin of preschool

First recorded in 1920–25; pre- + school1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preschool

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Approximately 50 percent of the children in elementary school have had their preschool education in the half day kindergartens.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria</p>

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

  • For the preschool years we will help needy children become aware of the excitement of learning.

  • But though Jake needed a preschool child with intelligence, he did not realize the height of Jimmy Holden's.

    The Fourth R

    George Oliver Smith

British Dictionary definitions for preschool



    1. (of a child) under the age at which compulsory education begins
    2. (of services) for or relating to preschool children
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 preschool


also pre-school, 1886, from pre- + school (n.); the noun is from 1910. Related: pre-schooling; pre-schooler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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