paleolithic

When you're talking about the era when humans hunted and gathered, lived in bands, and made tools out of wood and bone, you can call it paleolithic.

The adjective paleolithic is usually capitalized, since it's the scientific term for a specific period of human history beginning more than two million years ago, up until around the year 10,000 BCE. People sometimes call something paleolithic when it's really, really old. However, when anthropologists talk about the Paleolithic era, they mean the stage when humans truly became human, building homes, tools, jewelry, art, and began to observe rituals and early religious beliefs.

Definitions of paleolithic
  1. adjective
    of or relating to the early period of the Stone Age, through 10,000 BCE
    paleolithic artifacts”
    synonyms: palaeolithic
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week