follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

kindergarten

[kin-der-gahr-tn, -dn] /ˈkɪn dərˌgɑr tn, -dn/
noun
1.
a school or class for young children between the ages of four and six years.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; < German: literally, children's garden, equivalent to Kinder children (see kind2) + Garten garden
Related forms
prekindergarten, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for prekindergarten

kindergarten

/ˈkɪndəˌɡɑːtən/
noun
1.
a class or small school for young children, usually between the ages of four and six to prepare them for primary education Often shortened to (in Australia and New Zealand) kinder, kindy, kindie
Derived Forms
kindergartener, noun
Word Origin
C19: from German, literally: children's garden
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
Contemporary definitions for prekindergarten
adjective

pertaining to daycare given just prior to kindergarten, esp. when educational activities are offered

Usage Note

prekindergarten n

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for prekindergarten

kindergarten

n.

1852, from German, literally "children's garden," from Kinder "children" (plural of Kind "child;" see kin (n.)) + Garten "garden" (see yard (n.1)). Coined 1840 by German educator Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) in reference to his method of developing intelligence in young children.

Kindergarten means a garden of children, and Froebel, the inventor of it, or rather, as he would prefer to express it, the discoverer of the method of Nature, meant to symbolize by the name the spirit and plan of treatment. How does the gardener treat his plants? He studies their individual natures, and puts them into such circumstances of soil and atmosphere as enable them to grow, flower, and bring forth fruit,-- also to renew their manifestation year after year. [Mann, Horace, and Elizabeth P. Peabody, "Moral Culture of Infancy and Kindergarten Guide," Boston, 1863]
The first one in England was established 1850 by Johannes Ronge, German Catholic priest; in America, 1868, by Elizabeth Peabody of Boston, Mass. Taken into English untranslated, whereas other nations that borrowed the institution nativized the name (cf. Danish börnehave, Modern Hebrew gan yeladim, literally "garden of children"). Sometimes partially anglicized as kindergarden (attested by 1879).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for kindergarten

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for prekindergarten

23
27
Scrabble Words With Friends