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[kin-der-gahr-tn, -dn] /ˈkɪn dərˌgɑr 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
Related forms
prekindergarten, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prekindergarten


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
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Contemporary definitions for prekindergarten

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

Usage Note

prekindergarten n's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for prekindergarten
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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