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antiquity

[an-tik-wi-tee]
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noun, plural an·tiq·ui·ties.
  1. the quality of being ancient; ancientness: a bowl of great antiquity.
  2. ancient times; former ages: the splendor of antiquity.
  3. the period of history before the Middle Ages.
  4. the peoples, nations, tribes, or cultures of ancient times.
  5. Usually antiquities. something belonging to or remaining from ancient times, as monuments, relics, or customs.

Origin of antiquity

1350–1400; Middle English antiquite < Anglo-French < Latin antīquitās, equivalent to antīqu(us) old (see antique) + -itās -ity
Related formspre·an·tiq·ui·ty, noun, plural pre·an·tiq·ui·ties.sub·an·tiq·ui·ty, noun, plural sub·an·tiq·ui·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for antiquity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Even in antiquity the wiseacres took our royal buffoon too seriously.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • Their precise age and antiquity have been disputed with some acrimony.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • It was worth while going to Chteau-Chinon for the sight of such a piece of antiquity as that!

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Of the antiquity of the drama of Ollantay there is now no question.

    Apu Ollantay

    Anonymous

  • But enough, and perhaps too much, for the question of its antiquity.

    Imogen

    William Godwin


British Dictionary definitions for antiquity

antiquity

noun plural -ties
  1. the quality of being ancient or very olda vase of great antiquity
  2. the far distant past, esp the time preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
  3. the people of ancient times collectively; the ancients
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

Word Origin and History for antiquity

n.

late 14c., "olden times," from Old French antiquitet (11c.; Modern French antiquité) "olden times; great age; old age," from Latin antiquitatem (nominative antiquitas) "ancient times, antiquity, venerableness," noun of quality from antiquus (see antique (adj.)). Specific reference to ancient Greece and Rome is from mid-15c.; meaning "quality of being old" is from about the same time. Antiquities "relics of ancient days" is from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper