Precambrian

or Pre-Cam·bri·an

[pree-kam-bree-uh n, -keym-]Geology
adjective
  1. noting or pertaining to the earliest era of earth history, ending 570 million years ago, during which the earth's crust formed and life first appeared in the seas.
noun
  1. the Precambrian Era.

Origin of Precambrian

First recorded in 1860–65; pre- + Cambrian
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British Dictionary definitions for precambrian

Precambrian

Pre-Cambrian

adjective
  1. of, denoting, or formed in the earliest geological era, which lasted for about 4 000 000 000 years before the Cambrian period
noun
  1. the Precambrian the Precambrian eraSee Archaeozoic, Proterozoic
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 precambrian

Precambrian

adj.

also Pre-Cambrian, 1861, from pre- + Cambrian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

precambrian in Science

Precambrian

[prē-kămbrē-ən, -kām-]
  1. The period of geologic time between Hadean Time and the Phanerozoic Eon, from about 3.8 billion to 540 million years ago. During the Precambrian Eon, which is divided into the Archean and Proterozoic, primitive forms of life first appeared on Earth. See Chart at geologic time.
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