[ pree-uh-tom-ik ]
/ ˌpri əˈtɒm ɪk /


of or relating to the period of history preceding the atomic age.

Nearby words

  1. preappoint,
  2. prearrange,
  3. prearranged,
  4. preaseptic,
  5. preassembly,
  6. preaudit,
  7. preautomatic pause,
  8. preaxial,
  9. prebasic molt,
  10. prebend

Origin of preatomic

First recorded in 1910–15; pre- + atomic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pre-atomic

  • Well, as a race, so did we until only a few centuries pre-atomic.

    Oomphel in the Sky|Henry Beam Piper
  • There was an ancient word, originating in one of the lost languages of Pre-Atomic Terra—sixtifor.

    A Slave is a Slave|Henry Beam Piper
  • But Lenin was a pre-atomic man, who viewed society and history with pre-atomic eyes.

  • They were like the wolf of pre-atomic days who huffed and puffed to blow the house down.

    Acid Bath|Vaseleos Garson

Word Origin and History for pre-atomic



"before the atomic age," 1914, in "World Set Free" -- H.G. Wells anticipating the word the future would use to look back at a time defined by events that hadn't yet happened in his day; from pre- + atomic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper