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prehistory

[pree-his-tuh-ree, -his-tree] /priˈhɪs tə ri, -ˈhɪs tri/
noun, plural prehistories.
1.
human history in the period before recorded events, known mainly through archaeological discoveries, study, research, etc.; history of prehistoric humans.
2.
a history of the events or incidents leading to a crisis, situation, or the like.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75; pre- + history
Related forms
prehistorian
[pree-hi-stawr-ee-uh n, -stohr-] /ˌpri hɪˈstɔr i ən, -ˈstoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pre history

prehistory

/priːˈhɪstərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
the prehistoric period
2.
the study of this period, relying entirely on archaeological evidence
Derived Forms
prehistorian (ˌpriːhɪˈstɔːrɪən) noun
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
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Word Origin and History for pre history

prehistory

n.

1869, perhaps a back-formation from prehistoric. Related: Prehistorian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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