[ an-tik ]
See synonyms for antic on
  1. Usually antics.

    • a playful trick or prank; caper.

    • a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.

  2. Archaic.

    • an actor in a grotesque or ridiculous presentation.

    • a buffoon; clown.

  1. Obsolete.

    • a grotesque theatrical presentation; ridiculous interlude.

    • a grotesque or fantastic sculptured figure, as a gargoyle.

  1. ludicrous; funny.

  2. fantastic; odd; grotesque: an antic disposition.

verb (used without object),an·ticked, an·tick·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to perform antics; caper.

Origin of antic

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

Other words from antic

  • an·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with antic

Words Nearby antic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use antic in a sentence

  • If a discovery in science is announced, he will execute you an antic upon it before it gets fairly cold.

  • I gritted my teeth at him, danced up and down, screaming an incoherent mockery and making antic faces.

    Before Adam | Jack London
  • Nor need one necessarily play an absurd antic to be natural.

    Hints to Pilgrims | Charles Stephen Brooks
  • Her laugh, at some clumsy antic of Leonidas or some word of mine, rang again and again through the solitude of our hiding place.

    I Walked in Arden | Jack Crawford

British Dictionary definitions for antic


/ (ˈæntɪk) /

  1. archaic an actor in a ludicrous or grotesque part; clown; buffoon

  1. archaic fantastic; grotesque

Origin of antic

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