[adjective pree-skool; noun pree-skool]


of, relating to, or intended for a child between infancy and school age: new methods of preschool education.


a school or nursery for preschool children.

Origin of preschool

First recorded in 1920–25; pre- + school1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for preschool

kindergarten, playgroup

Examples from the Web for preschool

Contemporary Examples of preschool

Historical Examples of preschool

  • Approximately 50 percent of the children in elementary school have had their preschool education in the half day kindergartens.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

  • For the preschool years we will help needy children become aware of the excitement of learning.

  • But though Jake needed a preschool child with intelligence, he did not realize the height of Jimmy Holden's.

    The Fourth R

    George Oliver Smith

British Dictionary definitions for preschool




  1. (of a child) under the age at which compulsory education begins
  2. (of services) for or relating to preschool children
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 preschool

also pre-school, 1886, from pre- + school (n.); the noun is from 1910. Related: pre-schooling; pre-schooler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper