[ rel-ik ]
See synonyms for: relicrelics on

  1. a surviving memorial of something past.

  2. an object having interest by reason of its age or its association with the past: a museum of historic relics.

  1. a surviving trace of something: a custom that is a relic of paganism.

  2. relics,

    • remaining parts or fragments.

    • the remains of a deceased person.

  3. something kept in remembrance; souvenir; memento.

  4. Ecclesiastical. (especially in the Roman Catholic and Greek churches) the body, a part of the body, or some personal memorial of a saint, martyr, or other sacred person, preserved as worthy of veneration.

  5. a once widespread linguistic form that survives in a limited area but is otherwise obsolete.

Origin of relic

1175–1225; Middle English <Old French relique<Latin reliquiae (plural) remains (>Old English reliquias), equivalent to reliqu(us) remaining + -iae plural noun suffix

Other words from relic

  • rel·ic·like, adjective

Words Nearby relic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use relic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for relic


/ (ˈrɛlɪk) /

  1. something that has survived from the past, such as an object or custom

  2. something kept as a remembrance or treasured for its past associations; keepsake

  1. (usually plural) a remaining part or fragment

  2. RC Church Eastern Churches part of the body of a saint or something supposedly used by or associated with a saint, venerated as holy

  3. informal an old or old-fashioned person or thing

  4. (plural) archaic the remains of a dead person; corpse

  5. ecology a less common term for relict (def. 1)

Origin of relic

C13: from Old French relique, from Latin reliquiae remains, from relinquere to leave behind, relinquish

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