Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. History of humankind in the period before recorded history.
  • n. The circumstances or developments leading up to or surrounding a situation, event, or development; background: "[He] then told me the curious prehistory of his obsessive interest in the seduction theory” ( Janet Malcolm).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The history of human culture prior to written records.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. History prior to recorded history.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the time during the development of human culture before the appearance of the written word

Etymologies

pre- +‎ history. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This work looked at periods in prehistory when the Sahara region was green – covered with grassland.

    2009 April | Serendipity

  • A socialistic parable set in prehistory, "The Strength of the Strong" (Hampton's Magazine, March, 1911), was composed in January, 1909, in Tasmania.

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • Born and raised amongst the rich geological history of Ontario, Canada, Laura has held a lifelong interest in prehistory and how past peoples adapted to their environments.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • There is a chapter on “Democracy Before America” with a helpful timeline that begins in prehistory with the first two-party system formed by the hunters and the gatherers.

    America! America! « So Many Books

  • If you have the slightest interest in prehistory and the development of mankind on a global stage, this is the book for you.

    Reader reviews of Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond.

  • "My father was a student of what he called prehistory, but nothing to base it on except artifacts from the ancient ruins on the old civilization and the folk tales of the blacks.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact

  • While shorter, with fewer stories than, say, The Living Dead — this is 20 stories to TLD’s 34 — this is also an assemblage of new stories that follow the walking dead all through the ages, beginning in prehistory and taking us up to the time of Thomas Edison.

    Book Review – History is Dead: A Zombie Anthology

  • This takes returning to what anthropologist Michele Rosaldo called "the image of ourselves undressed," who we are at the core in prehistory.

    Melissa Soalt: Women: Reconnect with Your Innate Ability to Physically Defend Yourself

  • There have been many "great floods" at many times in prehistory.

    Man made global warming? No way!

  • The presence of written sources denotes the technical dividing line between what scholars classify as prehistory versus what they call history, which starts at different times depending on what part of the world you're studying.

    Archive 2008-02-01

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