Definition of troglodyte in US English:



  • 1(especially in prehistoric times) a person who lived in a cave.

    • ‘The troglodyte site of Barry was continuously occupied for thousands of years.’
    • ‘Some may be prehistoric in origin, but most are more recent, some being occupied as houses until the 1950s - apparently the last troglodyte dwellings in this country.’
    • ‘The first troglodytes to cross the valley or climb the mountain ventured forth from the family cave not because they wanted to make a scientific discovery but because something unknown lay beyond the horizon.’
    • ‘He describes the troglodytes as living a communal life, even through the caves were divided into separate units of habitation for individual families.’
    1. 1.1 A hermit.
      • ‘He then studied philosophy for a couple of years, lived as a troglodyte in Crete and had a short career as a street corner worker in the city of Groningen.’
      • ‘He established his hermitage in one of the limestone quarries and lived as a troglodyte for 17 years.’
      • ‘Of the eight objects in our solar system that are indisputably planets, five are readily visible to the unaided eye and were known to the ancients, as well as to observant troglodytes.’
    2. 1.2 A person who is regarded as being deliberately ignorant or old-fashioned.
      • ‘I don't want to come off as one of those ancient troglodytes who harkens back to the good old days even as younger folks tell us that things have changed.’
      • ‘Studying people who are often maligned as racist, jingoistic troglodytes, she portrays a lively and diverse group brought together by common interests in history, mechanics, and liberty.’
      • ‘I am a great deal more intelligent than these two troglodytes, and stronger than them, too.’
      • ‘Its a balmy 18 degrees, but I miss the sun already (that's Celsius, for all you troglodytes still living in the 18th century).’
      • ‘And while he may or may not be a capitalist apparatchik and/or a cultural troglodyte, it seems clear that he is a babe in the woods as a nonprofit and public manager.’
      savage, brute, beast, wild man, wild woman
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Late 15th century: via Latin from Greek trōglodutēs, alteration of the name of an Ethiopian people, influenced by trōglē ‘hole’.