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antic

[an-tik] /ˈæn tɪk/
noun
1.
Usually, antics.
  1. a playful trick or prank; caper.
  2. a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.
2.
Archaic.
  1. an actor in a grotesque or ridiculous presentation.
  2. a buffoon; clown.
3.
Obsolete.
  1. a grotesque theatrical presentation; ridiculous interlude.
  2. a grotesque or fantastic sculptured figure, as a gargoyle.
adjective
4.
ludicrous; funny.
5.
fantastic; odd; grotesque:
an antic disposition.
verb (used without object), anticked, anticking.
6.
Obsolete. to perform antics; caper.
Origin of antic
1520-1530
1520-30; earlier antike, antique < Italian antico ancient (< Latin antīcus, antīquus; see antique), apparently taken to mean “grotesque,” as used in descriptions of fantastic figures found in Roman ruins
Related forms
antically, adverb
Can be confused
antic, antique.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for antics
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I did not even know it was you at the stern, nor did I realize that my antics would result in pushing any one overboard.

  • Smith watched the antics of a gopher for a full minute before he replied.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • On the front seat is a peasant, laughing at the antics of the clown.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • The fairies no longer cheered him, nor could he smile again at the antics of the dwarfs.

    Boycotted Talbot Baines Reed
  • All this was aiding Johnny, though it is to be doubted whether the otters knew the value of their antics.

    The Shadow Passes Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for antics

antics

/ˈæntɪks/
plural noun
1.
absurd or grotesque acts or postures

antic

/ˈæntɪk/
noun
1.
(archaic) an actor in a ludicrous or grotesque part; clown; buffoon
adjective
2.
(archaic) fantastic; grotesque
See also antics
Word Origin
C16: from Italian antico something ancient, or grotesque (from its application to fantastic carvings found in ruins of ancient Rome); see antique
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antics
n.

"ludicrous behavior," 1520s; see antic.

antic

n.

1520s, "grotesque or comical gesture," from Italian antico "antique," from Latin antiquus "old" (see antique). Originally (like grotesque) a 16c. Italian word referring to the strange and fantastic representations on ancient murals unearthed around Rome (especially originally the Baths of Titus, rediscovered 16c.); later extended to "any bizarre thing or behavior," in which sense it first arrived in English. As an adjective in English from 1580s, "grotesque, bizarre."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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