[ ahr-key-ik ]
/ ɑrˈkeɪ ɪk /
Save This Word!


marked by the characteristics of an earlier period; antiquated: an archaic manner; an archaic notion.
(of a linguistic form) commonly used in an earlier time but rare in present-day usage except to suggest the older time, as in religious rituals or historical novels. Examples: thou; wast; methinks; forsooth.
forming the earliest stage; prior to full development: the archaic period of psychoanalytic research.
(often initial capital letter) pertaining to or designating the style of the fine arts, especially painting and sculpture, developed in Greece from the middle 7th to the early 5th century b.c., chiefly characterized by an increased emphasis on the human figure in action, naturalistic proportions and anatomical structure, simplicity of volumes, forms, or design, and the evolution of a definitive style for the narrative treatment of subject matter.Compare classical (def. 6), Hellenistic (def. 5).
primitive; ancient; old: an archaic form of animal life.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of archaic

First recorded in 1825–35; from French archaïque, or directly from Greek archaïkós “antiquated, old-fashioned,” equivalent to archaî(os) “old” + -ikos adjective suffix; see origin at -ic
2. Archaic is used as a label in this dictionary for terms and definitions that were current roughly as late as 1900 but are now employed only as conscious archaisms, as described and exemplified in definition 2 above. An archaic term is generally more recognizable, as when encountered in literature, than one labeled Obsolete.
ar·cha·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·ar·cha·ic, adjectivepseu·do·ar·cha·i·cal·ly, adverb
archaic , obsolescent, obsolete
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for archaic

/ (ɑːˈkeɪɪk) /


belonging to or characteristic of a much earlier period; ancient
out of date; antiquatedan archaic prison system
(of idiom, vocabulary, etc) characteristic of an earlier period of a language and not in ordinary use
archaically, adverb
C19: from French archaïque, from Greek arkhaïkos, from arkhaios ancient, from arkhē beginning, from arkhein to begin
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
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!