ancient

1
[ eyn-shuhnt ]
/ ˈeɪn ʃənt /

adjective

noun


Nearby words

  1. anchylostomiasis,
  2. ancien regime,
  3. ancien régime,
  4. ancienne noblesse,
  5. ancienne-lorette,
  6. ancient arabic order of nobles of the mystic shrine,
  7. ancient greek,
  8. ancient history,
  9. ancient lights,
  10. ancient monument

Origin of ancient

1
1300–50; Middle English auncien < Anglo-French; Old French ancien < Vulgar Latin *antiānus, equivalent to Latin ante(ā) before (see ante-) + -ānus -an; late Middle English forms with -t- developed by confusion with the present participle ending -nt (see -ent)

Related formsan·cient·ness, noun

Synonym study

2, 3. Ancient, antiquated, antique, old-fashioned refer to something dating from the past. Ancient implies existence or first occurrence in a distant past: an ancient custom. Antiquated connotes something too old or no longer useful: an antiquated building. Antique suggests a curious or pleasing quality in something old: antique furniture. Old-fashioned may disparage something as being out of date or may approve something old as being superior: an old-fashioned hat; old-fashioned courtesy.

ancient

2
[ eyn-shuh nt ]
/ ˈeɪn ʃənt /

noun Obsolete.

the bearer of a flag.
a flag, banner, or standard; ensign.

Origin of ancient

2
1545–55; variant of ensign by confusion with ancient1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ancient


British Dictionary definitions for ancient

ancient

1
/ (ˈeɪnʃənt) /

adjective

dating from very long agoancient ruins
very old; aged
of the far past, esp before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (476 ad)Compare medieval, modern
law having existed since before the time of legal memory

noun

Derived Formsancientness, noun

Word Origin for ancient

C14: from Old French ancien, from Vulgar Latin anteanus (unattested), from Latin ante before

noun archaic

a flag or other banner; standard
a standard-bearer; ensign

Word Origin for ancient

C16: changed from ensign through the influence of ancient 1

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 ancient
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper