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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The adoption or imitation of that which is antiquated or out of use; especially, the use of archaic words or fòrms of speech.
  • n. 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.
  • n. That which is archaic; especially, an antiquated or obsolete word, expression, pronunciation, or idiom.

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

  • n. the use of an archaic expression


New Latin archaeismus, from Greek arkhaismos, from arkhaios, ancient; see archaic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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