follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

Oligocene

[ol-i-goh-seen] /ˈɒl ɪ goʊˌsin/
adjective
1.
noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, occurring from 40 to 25 million years ago.
noun
2.
the Oligocene Epoch or Series.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; oligo- + -cene
Related forms
post-Oligocene, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for Oligocene

Oligocene

/ˈɒlɪɡəʊˌsiːn; ɒˈlɪɡ-/
adjective
1.
of, denoting, or formed in the third epoch of the Tertiary period, which lasted for 10 000 000 years
noun
2.
the Oligocene, the Oligocene epoch or rock series
Word Origin
C19: oligo- + -cene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Oligocene
adj.

1856, "pertaining to the Tertiary period between the Eocene and the Miocene," coined in German (1854) by Heinrich Ernst von Beyrich, from oligo- "small, little, few" + -cene. So called because few modern fossils were found in Oligocene rocks.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Oligocene in Science
Oligocene
  (ŏl'ĭ-gō-sēn')   
The third epoch of the Tertiary Period, from about 37 to 24 million years ago. During this time there was an increase in volcanic activity, and Australia and South America separated from Antarctica. The climate started to cool and a glacier started to form in Antarctica. Modern mammalian groups continued to develop, and the first cats, dogs, horses, and related mammals appeared. Artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates) took over from the perissodactyls (uneven-toed ungulates) as the dominant medium-sized herbivores. Many types of grass also first appeared at this time. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Oligocene

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Oligocene

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends