of or in time long past, especially before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476: ancient history.
dating from a remote period; of great age: ancient rocks;ancient trees.
a person who lived in ancient times.
one of the classical writers of antiquity.
a very old or aged person, especially if venerable or patriarchal.
Usually the ancients . the civilized peoples, nations, or cultures of antiquity, as the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and Egyptians.
the writers, artists, and philosophers of ancient times, especially those of Greece and Rome.
- an·cient·ness, noun
How to use ancient in a sentence
Regenerative agriculture dates back at least to biblical times, when the ancients practiced rudimentary crop rotation by letting their fields lie fallow in order to keep the soil rich with nutrients.Allbirds is stepping up for the planet—by treading lightly on it | sheilamarikar | September 21, 2020 | Fortune
The evidence of ancient cricket sperm is less clear, he says.A tiny crustacean fossil contains roughly 100-million-year-old giant sperm | Curtis Segarra | September 21, 2020 | Science News
George Poinar, an entomologist and paleontologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis who described the ancient cricket, stands by his conclusions.A tiny crustacean fossil contains roughly 100-million-year-old giant sperm | Curtis Segarra | September 21, 2020 | Science News
Microraptor, which lived some 120 million years ago alongside ancient birds, is distantly related to Aves.Readers ask about Microraptors, an X-ray map of the sky and more | Science News Staff | September 20, 2020 | Science News
Those developing embryos were reverting into ants that looked more like their ancient endosymbiont-free ancestors.How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found | Viviane Callier | September 9, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
But the last national figure to wield ancient personal authority in an explicitly religious way was Robert F. Kennedy.
Historical justifications for most modern celebrations can be found in the ancient world.
ancient Romans exchanged gifts of figs and honey and would make sure to work part of the day as a good omen for the coming year.
The ancient Egyptian festival of Wepet Renpet (“opening of the year”) was not just a time of rebirth—it was dedicated to drinking.
It can be hard to wrap your head around the problems facing the continent because they might seem ancient to us.
I believe that these are ideal characters constructed from still more ancient legends and traditions.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
Elyon is the name of an ancient Phœnician god, slain by his son El, no doubt the “first-born of death” in Job xviii.Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
Something remote and ancient stirred in her, something that was not of herself To-day, something half primitive, half barbaric.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
When Cortez made conquest of Mexico in 1519 smoking seemed to be a common as well as an ancient custom among the natives.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Long before that, however, the sun had come back to gladden the Polar regions, and break up the reign of ancient night.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for ancient (1 of 2)
dating from very long ago: ancient ruins
very old; aged
(often plural) a member of a civilized nation in the ancient world, esp a Greek, Roman, or Hebrew
(often plural) one of the classical authors of Greek or Roman antiquity
archaic an old man
- ancientness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for ancient (2 of 2)
a flag or other banner; standard
a standard-bearer; ensign
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