- 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.
Origin of relic
Examples from the Web for relics
Relics, paintings, ancient texts, and other links to our past that were lost suddenly resurface in hard to explain places.7 Historically Significant Artifacts Rescued by Happenstance
The Daily Beast
October 24, 2014
The sick sister was healed after relics from John XXIII were placed on the fistula on her abdomen.Popes, Saints, Miracles, Weird Relics and Odd Omens Converge on Rome
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 26, 2014
More than 100 relics relating to the Saint Death sect were reportedly found in the garage where Maria was kept.Argentinian Teen Was Starved and Held Captive With a Canine For 9 Years
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 17, 2014
In the absence of other places to turn to, myth, the Church and relics like the Holy [True] Cross provided necessary comfort.Justin Cartwright’s Novel ‘Lion Heart’ May Win Him the Audience He Deserves
March 25, 2014
These may be the up and coming younger members, waiting for their turn as ‘El Chapo’ and ‘El Mayo’ are viewed as relics.Will El Chapo Rule From Prison?
John P. Sullivan
February 24, 2014
Suffice it to record the fact that these relics are admittedly pre-Christian.The Non-Christian Cross
John Denham Parsons
This layer was evidently composed of the relics of a Romano-British people.
Curious legends often cluster round these relics of ancient times.
There were not wanting, however, many other relics of those stormy times.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
In the morning he is shown the curiosities, chiefly Scripture relics, in the palace.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
- 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)
Word Origin and History for relics
early 13c., "body part or other object from a holy person," from Old French relique (11c., plural reliques), from Late Latin reliquiæ (plural) "remains of a martyr," in classical Latin "remains, remnants," noun use of fem. plural of reliquus "remaining, that which remains," related to relinquere (perfective reliqui) "to leave behind" (see relinquish). Sense of "remains, ruins" is from early 14c. Old English used reliquias, directly from Latin.