• synonyms


[ahr-kee-iz-uh m, -key-]
See more synonyms for archaism on Thesaurus.com
  1. something archaic, as a word or expression.
  2. the use of what is archaic, as in literature or art: The archaism of the novelist's style provided a sense of the period.
  3. the survival or presence of something from the past: The art of letter writing is becoming an archaism.
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Also ar·cha·i·cism [ahr-key-uh-siz-uh m] /ɑrˈkeɪ əˌsɪz əm/.

Origin of archaism

1635–45; earlier archaismus < Latin < Greek archaïsmós. See archaize, -ism
Related formsar·cha·ist, nounar·cha·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for archaism

Historical Examples

  • An archaism for a channel of the sea, and not a mispronunciation of race (which see).

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • As for the archaism, that is well enough for those who like it.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker

  • The archaism of the English would represent the archaism of the Greek.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker

  • As it existed in Germany it has been condemned to extinction by reason of its archaism.

    My Own Affairs

    Louise, Princess of Belgium

  • Paine's use of the word "lies" in this connection is an archaism.

British Dictionary definitions for archaism


  1. the adoption or imitation of something archaic, such as a word or an artistic or literary style
  2. an archaic word, expression, style, etc
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Derived Formsarchaist, nounarchaistic, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from New Latin archaismus, from Greek arkhaïsmos, from arkhaizein to model one's style upon that of ancient writers; see archaic
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 archaism


1640s, "retention of what is old and obsolete," from Modern Latin archaismus, from Greek arkhaismos, from arkhaizein "to copy the ancients" (in language, etc.); see archaic. Meaning "an archaic word or expression" is from c.1748.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper