One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Existing or occurring before the Flood described in the biblical book of Genesis, or (in later use) before a widespread flood as described in other mythological traditions; of or relating to the period before such a flood.
2Geology. Earlier or older than a period of deposition of diluvial or drift deposits. Now chiefly historical.
3Of animals, plants, etc.: prehistoric; long extinct; such as are known only from their fossil remains.
4Very antiquated; ridiculously old-fashioned or out-of-date; = "antediluvian". Now somewhat rare.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Edward Tyson (1651–1708), physician and anatomist. From ante- + diluvial, probably as alteration of antediluvian.
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