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paleo-

  1. a combining form meaning “old” or “ancient,” especially in reference to former geologic time periods, used in the formation of compound words: paleobotany.
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Also pale-, especially British, palae-, palaeo-.

Origin of paleo-

< Greek palaio-, combining form of palaiós
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for paleo-

paleo-

before a vowel pale-

combining form
  1. variants (esp US) of palaeo-
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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 paleo-

before vowels pale- word-forming element used in scientific combinations (mostly since c.1870) meaning "ancient, early, prehistoric, primitive," from Greek palaio-, comb. form of palaios "old, ancient," from palai "long ago, far back," related to palin "again, backwards," tele- "far off, at a distance," from PIE root *kwel- "to turn, move about," also "far" (in space and time); see cycle (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

paleo- in Medicine

paleo-

pref.
  1. Ancient; prehistoric; old:paleopathology.
  2. Early; primitive:paleokinetic.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

paleo- in Science

paleo-

  1. A prefix that means “prehistoric” (as in paleontology) or “early or primitive” (as in Paleolithic).
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.