Definition of prehistoric in English:

prehistoric

adjective

  • 1Relating to or denoting the period before written records.

    ‘prehistoric man’
    • ‘The late prehistoric archaeological record at La Crosse is dominated by a series of Oneota village sites.’
    • ‘The bow and arrow were used throughout the late prehistoric period and into historic times.’
    • ‘A superficial investigation round these ponds usually reveals a few prehistoric sherds.’
    • ‘There is, as yet, no convincing archaeological evidence for tin exploitation in the west of England in the prehistoric period.’
    • ‘Two later prehistoric hillforts stand on the edge of a steep slope with magnificent views westwards.’
    • ‘No humans were around to make permanent records of prehistoric hurricanes.’
    • ‘Inland, newly recorded cropmark sites include a prehistoric pit circle and a small Roman villa, set within a landscape of ancient fields.’
    • ‘Our knowledge of the vessels in use in the prehistoric period is still uncomfortably slight.’
    • ‘The richest source of all for prehistoric artefacts has been the Thames.’
    • ‘Iron has been used in the British Isles since the prehistoric Iron Age.’
    • ‘We're looking at archaeology, of course, which is a record of prehistoric cultural evidence found in the ground.’
    • ‘Archaeologists have identified one of Britain's largest prehistoric hill forts in the North Yorkshire Moors.’
    • ‘The naturally defensible site may even have been a prehistoric hillfort, and was certainly a stronghold of the Welsh princes.’
    • ‘Among sites recorded are a possible prehistoric earthwork enclosure and industrial remains.’
    • ‘In the late prehistoric period, pine woodland was extensive in the Scottish Highlands and the west of Ireland.’
    primitive, primeval, primordial, primal, earliest, ancient, early, antediluvian
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Very old, primitive, or out of date.
      ‘my dad's electric typewriter was a prehistoric machine’
      • ‘They are the oldest of old hat: ancient hat, prehistoric hat.’
      • ‘The woman cranks away vainly at a machine that looks prehistoric but the man thinks faster.’
      • ‘Without doubt, the best borrowing product around by far - they make traditional mortgages look positively prehistoric.’
      • ‘More impressive still is an eagle in flight, when its utter immensity seems almost prehistoric.’
      • ‘My Dad happens to be the oldest, a positively prehistoric forty two.’
      • ‘The hated yellow tiles on the Arndale Centre may be stuck in the Seventies but their replacements are positively prehistoric.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French préhistorique (see pre-, historic).

Pronunciation:

prehistoric

/priːhɪˈstɒrɪk/