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[an-tik-wi-tee] /ænˈtɪk wɪ ti/
noun, plural antiquities.
the quality of being ancient; ancientness:
a bowl of great antiquity.
ancient times; former ages:
the splendor of antiquity.
the period of history before the Middle Ages.
the peoples, nations, tribes, or cultures of ancient times.
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 forms
preantiquity, noun, plural preantiquities.
subantiquity, noun, plural subantiquities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being ancient or very old: a vase of great antiquity
the far distant past, esp the time preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
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
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Word Origin and History for antiquity

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
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