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The word troglodyte dates to the mid-1500s, though its meaning has changed over the years. We will examine the varying definitions of the word troglodyte, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A troglodyte is someone who is backward, old-fashioned, or has outmoded beliefs. This is the definition that is most commonly used today. Calling someone a troglodyte is usually an insult. An older meaning of the word troglodyte is a hermit, or someone who lives in a cave. The word troglodyte is derived from the Greek word troglodytes, meaning cave man, taken from the word trōglē which means cave or hole in the ground. Originally, troglodyte referred to various tribes of ancient peoples who lived in caves. The plural form of troglodyte is troglodytes.


“We can’t let these troglodytes destroy our country & everything beautiful in it.” (The Indian Express)

“You should check out the derivation of ‘Trump-ite’ and ‘troglodyte,’ because they both refer to people who dwell in deep, dark caves.” (The Huffington Post)

She discovers a prehistoric troglodyte (the wonderfully acrobatic Adam Roy, with an impressive underbite and disarrayed locks), half ape and miraculously still alive after thousands of years. (The San Francisco Examiner)

The cave houses, also known as troglodyte houses, offer protection against the extremes of summer and winter in the arid desert. (The Atlantic)

If [then–education secretary Michael] Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act because any exam that isn’t “accessible” to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be “elitist” and therefore forbidden. (The National Review)