a surviving memorial of something past.
an object having interest by reason of its age or its association with the past: a museum of historic relics.
a surviving trace of something: a custom that is a relic of paganism.
remaining parts or fragments.
the remains of a deceased person.
something kept in remembrance; souvenir; memento.
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.
a once widespread linguistic form that survives in a limited area but is otherwise obsolete.
- rel·ic·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use relic in a sentence
He would become a keeper of junkyards—overgrown lost worlds of relic chariots.
Today Friedman’s doctrine, like many relics of the 1970s, is viewed as a bit of a cartoon.The ghost of Milton Friedman will haunt the markets until companies fix CEO pay | Judith Samuelson | September 16, 2020 | Quartz
Most notably, Switzerland completely overhauled its epidemic law, a relic from 1886.How a Swiss Ski Resort Was Ravaged by Typhoid and Survived | Daniel Malloy | September 9, 2020 | Ozy
It’s one of the most amusing ongoing appendage-measuring contests in media, a relic of the TV era and an example of how the fiercest battles are often fought over the most inconsequential things.It’s 2020, and CNN and Fox News are still battling over Comscore numbers | Steven Perlberg | July 31, 2020 | Digiday
One thing that’s keeping them alive is relic organic matter deposited from the ocean in an earlier geologic era.He Found ‘Islands of Fertility’ Beneath Antarctica’s Ice | Steve Nadis | July 20, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
Blues music is often treated like a museum piece, a relic from a bygone day, but this band will make you want to get up and dance.
Orphans is a true literary relic: a small shapely paperback that is tough to track down, thanks to a limited print run.Charles D’Ambrosio’s X-Ray Vision Is On Full Display In His New Essay Collection. | Steve Almond | November 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And then Further is gone, back on the road, like a time-traveling relic from another era or an apparition of Jerry Garcia.
Enjoy Messi while you can—he might play on for a few years yet but everything he represents is already a relic.
Marrero himself was hardly a “cup of coffee” relic or a minor character belatedly retrieved from the dustbin of baseball history.Havana Bids Adios to Conrado Marrero, MLB’s Oldest Player | Peter C. Bjarkman | April 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
No one who visits Salisbury will forget Stonehenge, the most remarkable relic of prehistoric man to be found in Britain.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car | Thomas D. Murphy
A relic, saved no doubt from the wreck of the Abbaye de Chelles, stood like an ornament on the chimney-piece.An Episode Under the Terror | Honore de Balzac
The Tuscan people set great store by the possession of this relic, and have engraved a representation of it upon their coins.A Cursory History of Swearing | Julian Sharman
This is, perhaps, almost beneath the dignity of the love-story, but we have to regard it as a relic.A Cursory History of Swearing | Julian Sharman
The Bourg is empty and dark, steeped in black shadows at the door of the chapel where the relic has been laid to rest.Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
British Dictionary definitions for relic
something that has survived from the past, such as an object or custom
something kept as a remembrance or treasured for its past associations; keepsake
(usually plural) a remaining part or fragment
RC Church Eastern Churches part of the body of a saint or something supposedly used by or associated with a saint, venerated as holy
informal an old or old-fashioned person or thing
(plural) archaic the remains of a dead person; corpse
ecology a less common term for relict (def. 1)
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