American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of great age; very old.
- adj. Of or relating to times long past, especially those of the historical period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire (A.D. 476). See Synonyms at old.
- adj. Old-fashioned; antiquated.
- adj. Having the qualities associated with age, wisdom, or long use; venerable.
- n. A very old person.
- n. A person who lived in times long past.
- n. The peoples of the classical nations of antiquity.
- n. The ancient Greek and Roman authors.
- n. Archaic An ensign; a flag.
- n. Obsolete A flag-bearer or lieutenant.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Existent or occurring in time long past, usually in remote ages; belonging to or associated with antiquity; old, as opposed to modern: as, ancient authors; ancient records. As specifically applied to history, ancient usually refers to times and events prior to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire, a. d. 476, and is opposed to medieval, which is applied to the period from about the fifth century to the end of the fifteenth, when modern history begins, and to modern, which is sometimes used of the whole period since the fifth century. In other uses it commonly has no exact reference to time.
- Having lasted from a remote period; having been of long duration; of great age; very old: as, an ancient city; an ancient forest: generally, but not always, applied to things.
- Specifically, in law, of more than 20 or 30 years' duration: said of anything whose continued existence for such a period is taken into consideration in aid of defective proof by reason of lapse of memory, or absence of witnesses, or loss of documentary evidence: as, an ancient boundary.
- Past; former.
- In heraldry, formerly worn; now out of date or obsolete: thus, France ancient is azure semée with fleurs-de-lys or, while France modern is azure, 3 fleurs-de-lys, or 2 and 1.
- Ancient and old are generally applied only to things subject to change.
- Old may apply to things which have long existed and still exist, while ancient may apply to things of equal age which have ceased to exist: as, old laws, ancient republics.
- Ancient properly refers to a higher degree of age than old: as, old times, ancient times; old institutions, ancient institutions. An old-looking man is one who seems advanced in years, while an ancient-looking man is one who seems to have survived from a past age.
- Antique is applied either to a thing which has come down from antiquity or to that which is made in imitation of ancient style: thus, ancient binding is binding done by the ancients, while antique binding is an imitation of the ancient style.
- Antiquated, like antique, may apply to a style or fashion, but it properly means too old; it is a disparaging word applied to ideas, laws, customs, dress, etc., which are out of date or outgrown: as, antiquated laws should he repealed; his head was full of antiquated notions.
- Old-fashioned is a milder word, noting that which has gone out of fashion, but may still be thought of as pleasing.
- Quaint is old-fashioned with a pleasing oddity: as, a quaint garb, a quaint manner of speech, a quaint face.
- Obsolete is applied to that which has gone completely out of use: as, an obsolete word, idea, law.
- Obsolescent is applied to that which is in process of becoming obsolete.
- Ancient and antique are opposed to modern; old to new, young, or fresh; antiquated to permanent or established; old-fashioned to new-fashioned; obsolete to current or present. Aged, Elderly, Old, etc. See aged.
- n. One who lived in former ages; a person belonging to an early period of the world's history: generally used in the plural.
- n. A very old man; hence, an elder or person of influence; a governor or ruler, political or ecclesiastical.
- n. A senior.
- n. In the Inns of Court and Chancery in London, one who has a certain standing or seniority: thus, in Gray's Inn, the society consists of benchers, ancients, barristers, and students under the bar, the ancients being the oldest barristers.
- n. Ancient of days, the Supreme Being, in reference to his existence from eternity.
- n. A flag, banner, or standard; an ensign; especially, the flag or streamer of a ship.
- n. The bearer of a flag; a standard-bearer; an ensign.
- adj. Having lasted from a remote period; having been of long duration; of great age; very old.
- adj. Existent or occurring in time long past, usually in remote ages; belonging to or associated with antiquity; old, as opposed to modern.
- n. A person who is very old or who lived in ancient times.
- n. heraldry, archaic A flag, banner, standard or ensign.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the times before the fall of the Roman empire; -- opposed to
- adj. Old; that has been of long duration; of long standing; of great age
- adj. Known for a long time, or from early times; -- opposed to
- adj. Archaic Dignified, like an aged man; magisterial; venerable.
- adj. obsolete Experienced; versed.
- adj. obsolete Former; sometime.
- n. Those who lived in former ages, as opposed to the
- n. An aged man; a patriarch. Hence: A governor; a ruler; a person of influence.
- n. obsolete A senior; an elder; a predecessor.
- n. (Eng. Law) One of the senior members of the Inns of Court or of Chancery.
- n. obsolete An ensign or flag.
- n. obsolete The bearer of a flag; an ensign.
- adj. belonging to times long past especially of the historical period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire
- n. a very old person
- n. a person who lived in ancient times
- adj. very old
- From Middle English auncyen, from Old French ancien ("old"), from Latin root *anteanus, from ante ("before"). Compare antique. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English auncien, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *anteānus : Latin ante, before; see ant- in Indo-European roots + -ānus, adj. and n. suff.Alteration of ensign. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“_All magistrates, who have been_ unjustly turned out, shall _forthwith resume their former_ employments; as well as all the boroughs of England shall return again to _their ancient prescriptions and charters_, and, more particularly, that _the ancient_ charter of the great and famous city of London shall again be in force; and that the writs for the members of Parliament shall be addressed to the _proper officers, according to law and custom_.”
“II. i.286 (46,8) [This ancient morsel] For _morsel_ Dr. Warburton reads _ancient moral_, very elegantly and judiciously, yet I know not whether the author might not write _morsel_, as we say a _piece of a man_.”
“The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca. 1100 BC and the Dorian invasion, to 146 BC and the Roman conquest of Greece after the Battle of Corinth.”
“PHILLIPS: However, Dahn yoga claims its treatments are not quote, hocus pocus, but based on what it calls ancient wisdom.”
“PHILLIPS: However, Dahn Yoga claims its treatments are not, "hocus pocus" but based on what it calls ancient wisdom.”
“PHILLIPS: However, Dahn Yoga claims its treatments are not, quote, "hocus-pocus" but based on what it calls ancient wisdom.”
“My father said it would take a lifetime of patient study to learn thoroughly all that can to-day be learned of what we call ancient”
“The distinguished author to whom we have already referred < 13 > speaks of what he calls the ancient Peruvians as distinguished from the modern tribes that acknowledged the government of the Incas.”
“I may plead, on the contrary, that what we call the ancient Church was the youthful Church.”
“Surprising as it will seem to those who hear of it for the first time, dentistry reached high perfection even in what we know as ancient history.”
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Looking for tweets for ancient.