Definition of Palaeolithic in English:

Palaeolithic

(US Paleolithic)

adjective

Archaeology
  • 1Relating to or denoting the early phase of the Stone Age, lasting about 2.5 million years, when primitive stone implements were used.

    Compare with Mesolithic, Neolithic
    • ‘The cave at Lascaux contains Palaeolithic drawings and paintings and is generally held to be the finest example of prehistoric art.’
    • ‘Permanent settlements were established in early Paleolithic times.’
    • ‘Like this one, Hosfield's Paleolithic study used stone tools as observation units.’
    • ‘This would mean that a number of groups of people using early Paleolithic stone tools entered the New World at the same time as the Clovis people.’
    • ‘Although climate changes in Palaeolithic times 25,000 years ago began to lead to desertification, there were still summer rains in the Neolithic era.’
    • ‘Human experience on the territory of present-day Russia dates back to Paleolithic times.’
    • ‘Evolutionists have devised an elaborate classification system for stone tools ranging from the most primitive early Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the youngest, exquisitely crafted tools.’
    • ‘Although I am a Palaeolithic archaeologist now, my interests were largely Roman at the time.’
    • ‘In Paleolithic times it was home to Stone Age hunters, who occupied the caves and left their art behind them.’
    • ‘Few traces exist of the settlements of the earliest Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Southern France.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Palaeolithic The Palaeolithic period.
      Also called Old Stone Age

The Palaeolithic period extends from the first appearance of artefacts to the end of the last ice age (about 8,500 years BC). The period has been divided into the Lower Palaeolithic, with the earliest forms of humankind and the emergence of hand-axe industries (ending about 120,000 years ago), the Middle Palaeolithic, the era of Neanderthal man (ending about 35,000 years ago), and the Upper Palaeolithic, during which only modern Homo sapiens is known to have existed

Origin

Mid 19th century: from palaeo- + Greek lithos ‘stone’ + -ic.

Pronunciation

Palaeolithic

/ˌpeɪlɪə(ʊ)ˈlɪθɪk//ˌpalɪə(ʊ)ˈlɪθɪk/