ancient


ancient
ancient1
/ayn"sheuhnt/, adj.
1. of or in time long past, esp. before the end of the Western Roman Empire A.D. 476: ancient history.
2. dating from a remote period; of great age: ancient rocks; ancient trees.
3. very old; aged: an ancient folk tale.
4. being old in wisdom and experience; venerable.
5. old-fashioned or antique.
n.
6. a person who lived in ancient times.
7. one of the classical writers of antiquity.
8. a very old or aged person, esp. if venerable or patriarchal.
9. ancients,
a. the civilized peoples, nations, or cultures of antiquity, as the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and Egyptians (usually prec. by the).
b. the writers, artists, and philosophers of ancient times, esp. those of Greece and Rome.
[1300-50; ME auncien < AF; OF ancien < VL *antianus, equiv. to L ante(a) before (see ANTE-) + -anus -AN; late ME forms with -t- developed by confusion with the prp. ending -nt (see -ENT)]
Syn. 2, 3. ANCIENT, ANTIQUATED, ANTIQUE, OLD- FASHIONED refer to something dating from the past. ANCIENT implies existence or first occurrence in a distant past: an ancient custom. ANTIQUATED connotes something too old or no longer useful: an antiquated building. ANTIQUE suggests a curious or pleasing quality in something old: antique furniture. OLD-FASHIONED may disparage something as being out of date or may approve something old as being superior: an old-fashioned hat; old-fashioned courtesy.
Ant. 2, 3. new, modern.
ancient2
/ayn"sheuhnt/, n. Obs.
1. the bearer of a flag.
2. a flag, banner, or standard; ensign.
[1545-55; var. of ENSIGN by confusion with ANCIENT1]

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Ancient — An cient, a. [OE. auncien, F. ancien, LL. antianus, fr. L. ante before. See {Ante }, pref.] 1. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • ancient — an·cient adj: existing from a long past date; specif: having had an uninterrupted existence of 20 to 30 or more years ◇ Things and esp. documents that are ancient benefit from a presumption that they are valid even though proof of their validity… …   Law dictionary

  • ancient — ancient1 [ān′chənt, ān′shənt] adj. [ME auncien < OFr ancien < VL * anteanus < L ante, before: t by infl. of ENT] 1. of times long past; belonging to the early history of the world, esp. before the end of the Western Roman Empire (A.D.… …   English World dictionary

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  • ancient — ► ADJECTIVE 1) belonging to or originating in the very distant past. 2) chiefly humorous very old. ► NOUN 1) archaic or humorous an old man. 2) (the ancients) the people of ancient times. DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • Ancient — An cient, n. 1. pl. Those who lived in former ages, as opposed to the {moderns}. [1913 Webster] 2. An aged man; a patriarch. Hence: A governor; a ruler; a person of influence. [1913 Webster] The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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