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Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-lithic

Stone.

[Greek lithos, stone.]

This ending appears in adjectives formed from nouns in -lith: megalithic, otolithic. However, trilithic derives from trilithon (sometimes trilith), a structure consisting of two upright stones and a third across the top as a lintel, as in Stonehenge. Lithic exists as a standalone adjective, in reference to stone or the nature of stone.

The ending also occurs in adjectives and nouns relating to periods of the Stone Age; examples include Palaeolithic (US Paleolithic), the early phase, when primitive stone implements were used; Mesolithic (Greek mesos, middle), its middle part; Neolithic (Greek neos, new), the later part, when ground or polished stone weapons and implements prevailed.

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