[mag-duh-lee-nee-uh n]


of or relating to the final Paleolithic culture of much of western Europe, dating from c13,000–10,000 b.c. and notable for its artifacts of bone, antler, and ivory and for the cave art of western France and northeastern Spain.

Origin of Magdalenian

1880–85; < French magdalénien, equivalent to Magdalen- (Latinization of La Madeleine, the type site in SW France) + -ien -ian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magdalenian

Historical Examples of magdalenian

  • I cannot here dwell at length on the triumphs of Aurignacian and Magdalenian artistry.

  • For many palethnographers this is a “facies local” of the Magdalenian period.

    The Races of Man

    Joseph Deniker

  • There are traces of Magdalenian influence in Maglemosian culture.

    Ancient Man in Britain

    Donald A. (Donald Alexander) Mackenzie

  • The building of homes of any kind seems to be unknown to Magdalenian man.

  • It coincides with the oncoming of the cold, either in the Mousterian or the Magdalenian.

British Dictionary definitions for magdalenian



of or relating to the latest Palaeolithic culture in Europe, which ended about 10 000 years ago


the Magdalenian culture

Word Origin for Magdalenian

C19: from French magdalénien, after La Madeleine, village in Dordogne, France, near which artefacts of the culture were found
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

magdalenian in Science



Relating to the final Upper Paleolithic culture of Europe, succeeding the Solutrean and dating from about 17,000 to 11,000 years ago. Magdalenian tools and weapons are highly specialized and demonstrate skilled craftsmanship in bone and antler as well as flaked stone. The Magdalenians are best known for their sophisticated artwork, including engravings, sculpture, and polychrome wall paintings such as those found in the Altamira caverns in northern Spain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.