• 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.
Show More
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 archaistic

Historical Examples

  • In sound and structure Mather's style is what the critics call "archaistic."

    American Sketches

    Charles Whibley

  • Many of these archaistic works are in various museums of art.

  • A large number of archaistic works appeared, imitated after the antique, as has already been mentioned.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • Racial and other causes removed him from any real affinity to the archaistic moralatarianism of Mr. Holman Hunt.

  • By the figure of Sappho is inscribed the beginning of her name, in letters of archaistic form.

British Dictionary definitions for archaistic


  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
Show More
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 archaistic



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper