Definition of Piltdown man from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Piltdown man

; NAmE
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a type of prehistoric human being that was believed to exist in ancient times. Piltdown man was 'discovered' when some bones were found in 1912 on Piltdown Common in southern England. It was later proved to be a trick, perhaps meant as a joke, when scientific tests showed that they were a mixture of modern human and ape (= an animal like a large monkey) bones that had been treated to look ancient.