1. a combining form meaning “old” or “ancient,” especially in reference to former geologic time periods, used in the formation of compound words: paleobotany.

combining form

  1. variants (esp US) of palaeo-

before vowels pale- word-forming element used in scientific combinations (mostly since c.1870) meaning “ancient, early, prehistoric, primitive,” from Greek palaio-, comb. form of palaios “old, ancient,” from palai “long ago, far back,” related to palin “again, backwards,” tele- “far off, at a distance,” from PIE root *kwel- “to turn, move about,” also “far” (in space and time); see cycle (n.). pref.

  1. Ancient; prehistoric; old:paleopathology.
  2. Early; primitive:paleokinetic.

  1. A prefix that means “prehistoric” (as in paleontology) or “early or primitive” (as in Paleolithic).

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