See more synonyms for attic on
  1. the part of a building, especially of a house, directly under a roof; garret.
  2. a room or rooms in an attic.
  3. a low story or decorative wall above an entablature or the main cornice of a building.
  4. Anatomy. the upper part of the tympanic cavity of the ear.

Origin of attic

First recorded in 1690–1700; special use of Attic


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Greece or of Athens.
  2. (often lowercase) displaying simple elegance, incisive intelligence, and delicate wit.
  1. the dialect of ancient Attica that became the standard language of Classical Greek literature in the 5th and 4th centuries b.c.

Origin of Attic

1555–65; < Latin Atticus < Greek Attikós
Related formsnon-At·tic, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for attic

garret, loft

Examples from the Web for attic

Contemporary Examples of attic

Historical Examples of attic

  • This time, however, he sat down in the attic and began to read it.

  • Between one and two in the morning our driver descended from his attic.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Never mind; give it all the same; the picture will be of use, and we will adorn our attic with it.

  • His Uncle William was in the kitchen when he descended the stairs from the attic.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Then he too went up the ladder, and found himself with the others in an attic.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for attic


  1. a space or room within the roof of a house
  2. architect a storey or low wall above the cornice of a classical façade

Word Origin for attic

C18: special use of Attic from the use of Attic-style pilasters to adorn the façade of the top storey


  1. of or relating to Attica, its inhabitants, or the dialect of Greek spoken there, esp in classical times
  2. (often not capital) classically elegant, simple, or purean Attic style
  1. the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken and written in Athens: the chief literary dialect of classical GreekSee also Aeolic, Arcadic, Doric, Ionic
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 attic



1590s, "pertaining to Attica," from Latin Atticus, from Greek Attikos "Athenian, of Attica," the region around Athens (see Attica). Attested from 1560s as an architectural term for a type of column base.


"top story under the roof of a house," 1855, shortened from attic storey (1724). The term Attic order in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low story above a building's main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1690s in English), and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via French. attique. "An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

attic in Medicine


  1. The upper portion of the tympanic cavity above the tympanic membrane that contains the head of the malleus and the body of the incus.epitympanum
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.