[pree-hi-stawr-ik, -stor-, pree-i-]


of or relating to the time or a period prior to recorded history:The dinosaur is a prehistoric beast.
Slang. outdated; passé: My mom has these prehistoric ideas about proper dress.

Sometimes pre·his·tor·i·cal.

Origin of prehistoric

First recorded in 1850–55; pre- + historic
Related formspre·his·tor·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prehistoric

Contemporary Examples of prehistoric

Historical Examples of prehistoric

  • Prehistoric man, as I just told you, was on a fair way to progress.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • I can not give you any positive dates connected with Prehistoric Man.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • He also gave me an admirable chameleon, a prehistoric, fabulous sort of animal.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • In this way we can imagine the main points of the prehistoric evolution of marriage.

  • Well, it was as old as the ship—a prehistoric hose, and past repair.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for prehistoric




of or relating to man's development before the appearance of the written word
Derived Formsprehistorically, adverb
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 prehistoric

1832, modeled on French préhistorique; see pre- + historic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper