World English Dictionary
archaean (ɑːˈkɪən)
any member of the Archaea, a domain of prokaryotic microorganisms, distinguished from bacteria on molecular phylogenetic grounds and often found in hostile environments, such as volcanic vents and hot springs

Archaean or esp (US) Archean (ɑːˈkiːən)
1.  of or relating to the highly metamorphosed rocks formed in the early Precambrian era
2.  the earlier of two divisions of the Precambrian era, during which the earliest forms of life are assumed to have appeared
Archean or esp (US) Archean

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"of the earliest geological age," 1872, from Gk. arkhaios "ancient," from arkhe "beginning" (see archon).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Archaean   (är-kē'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
Another spelling of Archean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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