Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Extremely old and antiquated. See Synonyms at old.
  • adj. Bible Occurring or belonging to the era before the Flood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. ancient or antiquated; old; prehistoric.
  • adj. Supremely dated.
  • adj. Pertaining or belonging to the time period prior to a great or destructive flood or deluge
  • adj. Pertaining or belonging to the time prior to Noah's Flood.
  • n. One who lived prior to Noah's Flood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or relating to the period before the Deluge in Noah's time; hence, antiquated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Existing before the flood (the Noachian deluge) recorded in Genesis; relating to the times or events before the Noachian deluge: as, the antediluvian patriarchs: by extension, applied to the time preceding any great flood or inundation, as that which is said to have occurred in China in the time of Yao, 2298 b. c.
  • Belonging to very ancient times; antiquated; primitive; rude; simple: as, antediluvian ideas.
  • n. One who lived before the deluge.
  • n. Hence, humorously
  • n. One who is very old or very antiquated in manners or notions; an old fogy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a very old person
  • adj. so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period
  • n. any of the early patriarchs who lived prior to the Noachian deluge
  • adj. of or relating to the period before the biblical flood

Etymologies

From ante- + Latin dīluvium, flood; see diluvial.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ante- (“before”) +‎ diluvium ("flood"), in reference to the story of Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6–9), an early episode in the Bible. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The doctor armed himself, and held himself in readiness to fire upon an animal which, by its dimensions, recalled the antediluvian quadrupeds.

    The English at the North Pole Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras

  • Parker also complains that British (military) ambulances are "antediluvian" and "reveals" that the laboratory at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, which is used to match blood and test samples, had to close between 11.30am and 3.30pm because the air-conditioning system could not keep the temperature below 97F (36C).

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • Sally Keeble, MP for Northampton North, thought the ban epitomised  'the complete nonsense of an institution that won't move on', and Barbara Follett, MP for Stevenage, talked of 'antediluvian' attitudes.

    Betty Bothroyd The Autobiography

  • "Antiquites Celtiques," published in 1847, M. Boucher de Perthes styled these older tools "antediluvian," because they came from the lowest beds of a series of ancient alluvial strata bordering the valley of the Somme, which geologists had termed "diluvium."

    The Antiquity of Man

  • That way, they would have found out what kind of antediluvian throwback they hve admitted to the EU.

    timesofmalta.com

  • When Dewi Morris uses the word "antediluvian" you know you've got a problem

    Blogposts | guardian.co.uk

  • He complains that merchants in Pasadena are "antediluvian" when it comes to the Internet.

    Journerdism | Will Sullivan's Stompin' ground for journalists and nerds.

  • "antediluvian" shape of the bat -- no paddings on the legs.

    Pickwickian Manners and Customs

  • "antediluvian," and for startling originality in his views as well as fearlessness in expressing them.

    Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places

  • "antediluvian" in their turn; are ready also to climb the scaffold - poles always to be found somewhere about the great church, or dive along the odd, secret passages of the old builders, with quite learned explanations (being proud of, and therefore painstaking about, the place) of architectural periods, of Gothic "late" and

    Miscellaneous Studies; a series of essays

Comments

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  • Thank you. I have a visual problem from time to time.

    August 14, 2008

  • Logos, you might want to check the spelling on your profile, then.

    August 14, 2008

  • This is my fave word of all time !

    August 14, 2008

  • Ah, I thought it was just archaic in general. I love the synonyms for this one.

    Roget's II

    ADJECTIVE: 1. Of, existing, or occurring in a distant period: ancient, early, primitive. See START. 2. Belonging to, existing, or occurring in times long past: age-old, ancient, antiquated, antique, archaic, hoary, old, olden, old-time, timeworn, venerable. Idioms: old as Methuselah, old as the hills. See NEW.

    May 18, 2007

  • goes very well with 'prelapsarian'

    January 23, 2007

  • December 17, 2006

  • Well Tank, that's the first place I heard it, but I've since heard it used otherwise.

    December 3, 2006

  • I hope I'm not the only one who thought this was only a term from Vampire: the Masquerade...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antediluvians_(World_of_Darkness)

    ... I only played the Troika computer game! Don't look at me like that!

    December 3, 2006

  • Now used to mean "prehistoric", this word etymologically refers to "before the flood" (the one described in the book of Genesis). I don't mind; it sounds beautiful.

    December 3, 2006