from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An archaic word, phrase, idiom, or other expression.
  • noun An archaic style, quality, or usage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The adoption or imitation of that which is antiquated or out of use; especially, the use of archaic words or fòrms of speech.
  • noun The quality of being archaic; antiquity of style, manner, or use, as in art or literature; especially, in art, the appearance of traces of the imperfect conception or unskilful handling of tools and material belonging to an art before the time of its highest development. See the archaic, under archaic.
  • noun That which is archaic; especially, an antiquated or obsolete word, expression, pronunciation, or idiom.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An ancient, antiquated, or old-fashioned, word, expression, or idiom; a word or form of speech no longer in common use.
  • noun Antiquity of style or use; obsoleteness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The adoption or imitation of archaic words or style.
  • noun An archaic word, style, etc.

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

  • noun the use of an archaic expression


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

[New Latin archaeismus, from Greek arkhaismos, from arkhaios, ancient; see archaic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

17th Century, from New Latin, from Ancient Greek ἀρχαϊσμός (arkhaismos, "an antiquated phrase or style"), from ἀρχαίζειν (arkhaizein, "to model one's style upon that of ancient writers"), from ἀρχαῖος (arkhaios, "old, ancient"), from ἀρχή (arkhē, "beginning"), from ἄρχω (arkhō, "I begin").



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  • Archaic is one of my favorite words, yet I've never actually heard this one.

    "He spoke a perfectly fluent but agreeably accented Spanish filled with pleasant archaisms, which reminded Stephen of the English in the former northern colonies..."

    --O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 177

    March 14, 2008