[ an-tik ]
/ ˈæn tɪk /


Usually antics.
  1. a playful trick or prank; caper.
  2. a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.
  1. an actor in a grotesque or ridiculous presentation.
  2. a buffoon; clown.
  1. a grotesque theatrical presentation; ridiculous interlude.
  2. a grotesque or fantastic sculptured figure, as a gargoyle.


ludicrous; funny.
fantastic; odd; grotesque: an antic disposition.

verb (used without object), an·ticked, an·tick·ing.

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

Related forms

an·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for antics

British Dictionary definitions for antics (1 of 2)


/ (ˈæntɪks) /

pl n

absurd or grotesque acts or postures

British Dictionary definitions for antics (2 of 2)


/ (ˈæntɪk) /


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


archaic fantastic; grotesque
See also antics

Word Origin for 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