[plahy-uh-seen] Geology.
noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, occurring from 10 to 2 million years ago, and characterized by increased size and numbers of mammals, by the growth of mountains, and by global climatic cooling. See table under geologic time.
the Pliocene Epoch or Series.

1825–35; plio- + -cene

post-Pliocene, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Pliocene or Pleiocene (ˈplaɪəʊˌsiːn)
1.  of, denoting, or formed in the last epoch of the Tertiary period, which lasted for three million years, during which many modern mammals appeared
2.  the Pliocene the Pliocene epoch or rock series
[C19: plio- + -cene, from Greek kainos recent]
Pleiocene or Pleiocene
[C19: plio- + -cene, from Greek kainos recent]

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

1833, from Gk. pleion "more" + kainos "new" (see recent).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Pliocene   (plī'ə-sēn')  Pronunciation Key 
The fifth and last epoch of the Tertiary Period, from about 5 to 2 million years ago. During this time the global climate became cooler and the number and expanse of grasslands and savannas increased greatly. This change in vegetation was accompanied by an increase in long-legged grazers. The land bridge between North America and South America also formed at this time, and massive ice sheets accumulated at the poles. In the later part of the epoch many of the species living in polar regions became extinct. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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