Definition of Ancient

1. Noun. A very old person.

Exact synonyms: Antediluvian
Generic synonyms: Golden Ager, Old Person, Oldster, Senior Citizen

2. Adjective. Belonging to times long past especially of the historical period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire. "Ancient Greece"
Similar to: Past
Derivative terms: Ancientness

3. Noun. A person who lived in ancient times.
Generic synonyms: Individual, Mortal, Person, Somebody, Someone, Soul

4. Adjective. Very old. "An ancient mariner"
Similar to: Old
Derivative terms: Ancientness

Definition of Ancient

1. a. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the times before the fall of the Roman empire; -- opposed to modern; as, ancient authors, literature, history; ancient days.

2. n. Those who lived in former ages, as opposed to the moderns.

3. n. An ensign or flag.

Definition of Ancient

1. Adjective. Having lasted from a remote period; having been of long duration; of great age; very old. ¹

2. Adjective. Existent or occurring in time long past, usually in remote ages; belonging to or associated with antiquity; old, as opposed to modern. ¹

3. Noun. A person who is very old or who lived in ancient times. ¹

4. Noun. (context: heraldry archaic) A flag, banner, standard or ensign. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Ancient

1. of or pertaining to time long past [adj -CIENTER, -CIENTEST] / one who lived in ancient times [n -S]

Medical Definition of Ancient

1. 1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the times before the fall of the Roman empire; opposed to modern; as, ancient authors, literature, history; ancient days. "Witness those ancient empires of the earth." (Milton) "Gildas Albanius . . . Much ancienter than his namesake surnamed the Wise." (Fuller) 2. Old; that has been of long duration; of long standing; of great age; as, an ancient forest; an ancient castle. "Our ancient bickerings." "Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy fathers have set." (Prov. Xxii. 28) "An ancient man, strangely habited, asked for quarters." (Scott) 3. Known for a long time, or from early times; opposed to recent or new; as, the ancient continent. "A friend, perhaps, or an ancient acquaintance." (Barrow) 4. Dignified, like an aged man; magisterial; venerable. "He wrought but some few hours of the day, and then would he seem very grave and ancient." (Holland) 5. Experienced; versed. "Though [he] was the youngest brother, yet he was the most ancient in the business of the realm." (Berners) 6. Former; sometime. "They mourned their ancient leader lost." (Pope) Ancient demesne, windows and other openings which have been enjoined without molestation for more than twenty years. In England, and in some of the United States, they acquire a prescriptive right. Synonym: Old, primitive, pristine, antique, antiquated, old-fashioned, obsolete. Ancient, Antiquated, Obsolete, Antique, Antic, Old. Ancient is opposed to modern, and has antiquity; as, an ancient family, ancient landmarks, ancient institutions, systems of thought, etc. Antiquated describes that which has gone out of use or fashion; as, antiquated furniture, antiquated laws, rules, etc. Obsolete is commonly used, instead of antiquated, in reference to language, customs, etc.; as, an obsolete word or phrase, an obsolete expression. Antique is applied, in present usage, either to that which has come down from the ancients; as, an antique cameo, bust, etc.; or to that which is made to imitate some ancient work of art; as, an antique temple. In the days of Shakespeare, antique was often used for ancient; as, "an antique song," "an antique Roman;" and hence, from singularity often attached to what is ancient, it was used in the sense of grotesque; as, "an oak whose antique root peeps out; " and hence came our present word antic, denoting grotesque or ridiculous. We usually apply both ancient and old to things subject to gradual decay. We say, an old man, an ancient record; but never, the old stars, an old river or mountain. In general, however, ancient is opposed to modern, and old to new, fresh, or recent. When we speak of a thing that existed formerly, which has ceased to exist, we commonly use ancient; as, ancient republics, ancient heroes; and not old republics, old heroes. But when the thing which began or existed in former times is still in existence, we use either ancient or old; as, ancient statues or paintings, or old statues or paintings; ancient authors, or old authors, meaning books. Origin: OE. Auncien, F. Ancien, LL. Antianus, fr. L. Ante before. See Ante-, pref. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Ancient

ancien regime
anciens régimes
ancient (current term)
ancient Greeks
ancient astronaut
ancient document
ancient documents
ancient history
ancient lands
ancient pine
ancient pyramid
ancient pyramids

Literary usage of Ancient

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. New Chapters in Greek History: Historical Results of Recent Excavations in by Percy Gardner (1892)
"CHAPTER I. THE VERIFICATION OF ancient HISTORY. THERE is a notable distinction between the records of ancient and the records of modern history. ..."

2. Researches Into the Physical History of Mankind by James Cowles Prichard (1844)
"THE first appearance of the ancient Medes and Persians, during the sixth century before our era, on the theatre of human affairs, was almost as sudden as ..."

3. Ruling Cases by Irving Browne, Leonard Augustus Jones, James Tower Keen, John Melville Gould (1895)
"But the right to ancient light may also still be established by proof of enjoyment from time immemorial, although the proof of the twenty years' enjoyment ..."

4. Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America by Emmanuel Domenech (1860)

5. Italy and the Italian Islands: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time by William Spalding (1841)
"Introductory Chapter, THE ITALIANS—In ancient Times—In the Middle ... ancient Italy has bequeathed to us magnificent memorials of literature" and art. ..."

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