Origin of antique

1520–30; earlier also anticke (< Middle French antique) < Latin antīiquus, antīicus in front, existing earler, ancient; cf. antic, posticum
Related formsan·tique·ly, adverban·tique·ness, nounpseu·do·an·tique, adjective, nounqua·si-an·tique, adjectivesub·an·tique, adjectivesub·an·tique·ly, adverbsub·an·tique·ness, noun
Can be confusedantic antique

Synonyms for antique

Synonym study

2. See ancient1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for antique

Contemporary Examples of antique

Historical Examples of antique

  • They are what modern life has contributed to the antique ideal of friendship.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • So far she had only been set to do landscape, and laborious drawings of casts from the antique.

  • As Raphael is supposed to have said, all that was lacking to him was knowledge of the antique.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • And for art-lovers, what perennial beauty of an antique art is here.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Here, indeed, is an up-to-date hermit, not an antique troglodyte.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for antique



  1. a decorative object, piece of furniture, or other work of art created in an earlier period, that is collected and valued for its beauty, workmanship, and age
  2. (as modifier)an antique shop
any object made in an earlier period
the antique the style of ancient art, esp Greek or Roman art, or an example of it


made in or in the style of an earlier period
of or belonging to the distant past, esp of or in the style of ancient Greece or Rome
informal old-fashioned; out-of-date
archaic aged or venerable
(of paper) not calendered or coated; having a rough surface


(tr) to give an antique appearance to

Word Origin for antique

C16: from Latin antīquus ancient, from ante before
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 antique

1530s, "aged, venerable," from Middle French antique "old" (14c.), from Latin antiquus (later anticus) "ancient, former, of olden times; old, long in existence, aged; venerable; old-fashioned," from PIE *anti in sense of "before" (see ante) + *okw- "appearance" (see eye (n.)). Originally pronounced in English like its parallel antic, but French pronunciation and spelling were adopted from c.1700.


"an old and collectible thing," 1771, from antique (adj.).


"to give an antique appearance to," 1896, from antique (adj.). Related: Antiqued; antiquing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper