- a surviving memorial of something past.
- an object having interest by reason of its age or its association with the past: a museum of historic relics.
- a surviving trace of something: a custom that is a relic of paganism.
- remaining parts or fragments.
- the remains of a deceased person.
- something kept in remembrance; souvenir; memento.
- Ecclesiastical. (especially in the Roman Catholic and Greek churches) the body, a part of the body, or some personal memorial of a saint, martyr, or other sacred person, preserved as worthy of veneration.
- a once widespread linguistic form that survives in a limited area but is otherwise obsolete.
Origin of relic
Examples from the Web for relic
Blues music is often treated like a museum piece, a relic from a bygone day, but this band will make you want to get up and dance.The Best Albums of 2014
December 13, 2014
Enjoy Messi while you can—he might play on for a few years yet but everything he represents is already a relic.Enjoy Argentina’s Lionel Messi While You Can
July 13, 2014
Marrero himself was hardly a “cup of coffee” relic or a minor character belatedly retrieved from the dustbin of baseball history.Havana Bids Adios to Conrado Marrero, MLB’s Oldest Player
Peter C. Bjarkman
April 25, 2014
Even the Aughties Beck—The Information, parts of Guero, parts of Modern Guilt—seems like a relic at this point.Beck’s Musical Time Machine: This Wasn’t a Concert. It was a Spectacular Party.
April 18, 2014
The church was closed due to bad weather when the relic, along with a golden cross, was taken.Who Stole John Paul’s Blood And Christ’s Foreskin?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 29, 2014
I found it in this cell, after the death of the martyr, and have preserved it as a relic.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
The mistresses of the present princes are a relic of polygamy.The Sexual Question
I brought out my relic of other days, and displayed it to the boys in the shanty.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
But, after all, this is an old-fashioned method, and the rhinoceros is a relic.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
"A wonderful talisman is the relic of a good mother, sir," said the old parson.The Christian
- something that has survived from the past, such as an object or custom
- something kept as a remembrance or treasured for its past associations; keepsake
- (usually plural) a remaining part or fragment
- RC Church Eastern Churches part of the body of a saint or something supposedly used by or associated with a saint, venerated as holy
- informal an old or old-fashioned person or thing
- (plural) archaic the remains of a dead person; corpse
- ecology a less common term for relict (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for relic
early 13c., "body part or other object from a holy person," from Old French relique (11c., plural reliques), from Late Latin reliquiæ (plural) "remains of a martyr," in classical Latin "remains, remnants," noun use of fem. plural of reliquus "remaining, that which remains," related to relinquere (perfective reliqui) "to leave behind" (see relinquish). Sense of "remains, ruins" is from early 14c. Old English used reliquias, directly from Latin.