Definition: Antiquity

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English antiquyte, antiquite, antiquytee, a borrowing from Old French antiquité, antiquitet, from Latin antiquitas, from antiquus. Equivalent to "antique" +‎ -ity. See antique, antic. Compare with French antiquité.


antiquity (countable and uncountable, plural antiquities)

  1. Ancient times; former ages; times long since past
    Cicero was an eloquent orator of antiquity.
  2. The ancients; the people of ancient times.
    That such pillars were raised by Seth all antiquity has avowed. --Sir W. Raleigh.
  3. (obsolete) An old gentleman.
    You are a shrewd antiquity, neighbor Clench. --B. Jonson.
  4. (often) A relic or monument of ancient times; as, a coin, a statue, etc.; an ancient institution.

Derived terms

  • antiquitarian
  • antiquitarianism
  • antiquitary
  • antiquitist
  • antiquitization
  • antiquitize
  • antiquitous
  • classical antiquity
  • Late Antiquity


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