[ ahr-key-ik ]
/ ɑrˈkeɪ ɪk /
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.
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Origin of archaic
1825–35; (< F) < Greek archaïkós antiquated, old-fashioned, equivalent to archaî(os) old + -ikos -ic
usage note for archaic
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.
OTHER WORDS FROM archaicar·cha·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·ar·cha·ic, adjectivepseu·do·ar·cha·i·cal·ly, adverb
Words nearby archaic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for archaically
Against the archaically homely background the beauty of the young girl appeared in most striking contrast.Blow The Man Down|Holman Day
British Dictionary definitions for archaically
/ (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out of date; antiquatedan archaic prison system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
Derived forms of archaicarchaically, adverb
Word Origin for archaic
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