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Precambrian

or Pre-Cam·bri·an

[pree-kam-bree-uh n, -keym-]Geology
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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.
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noun
  1. the Precambrian Era.
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Origin of Precambrian

First recorded in 1860–65; pre- + Cambrian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for precambrian

Historical Examples

  • We may take our own country as a region where a good development of the Precambrian rocks occurs.

    The Principles of Stratigraphical Geology

    J. E. Marr

  • A few explanatory remarks concerning the mode of detection of Precambrian rocks may not be amiss.

  • These Torridonian strata furnish us with the most satisfactory group of Precambrian sediments yet detected in Britain.


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
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noun
  1. the Precambrian the Precambrian eraSee Archaeozoic, Proterozoic
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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 precambrian

Precambrian

adj.

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

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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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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.