[kin-der-gahr-tn, -dn]
a school or class for young children between the ages of four and six years.

1850–55; < German: literally, children's garden, equivalent to Kinder children (see kind2) + Garten garden

prekindergarten, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kindergarten (ˈkɪndəˌɡɑːtən)
kinder, kindy, Often shortened to (in Australia and New Zealand): kindie a class or small school for young children, usually between the ages of four and six to prepare them for primary education
[C19: from German, literally: children's garden]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  prekindergarten
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  pertaining to daycare given just prior to kindergarten, esp. when educational activities are offered
Usage:  prekindergarten n's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

1852, from Ger., lit. "children's garden," from Kinder "children" (pl. of Kind "child") + Garten "garden" (see yard (1)). Coined 1840 by Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) in ref. to his method of developing intelligence in young children, the first one in Eng. established 1850
by Johannes Ronge, Ger. Catholic priest. Taken into Eng. untranslated, where other nations that borrowed the institution nativized the name (cf. Dan. börnehave, Modern Heb. gan yeladim, lit. "garden of children").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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