• synonyms


[ahr-kee-iz-uh m, -key-]
  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

Examples from the Web for archaist

Historical Examples of archaist

  • Rhythm was avoided by Caesar who was an Atticist, and by Sallust who was an archaist.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3


British Dictionary definitions for archaist


  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 for archaism

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 archaist



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