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antiquity

[an-tik-wi-tee] /ænˈtɪk wɪ ti/
noun, plural antiquities.
1.
the quality of being ancient; ancientness:
a bowl of great antiquity.
2.
ancient times; former ages:
the splendor of antiquity.
3.
the period of history before the Middle Ages.
4.
the peoples, nations, tribes, or cultures of ancient times.
5.
Usually, antiquities. something belonging to or remaining from ancient times, as monuments, relics, or customs.
Origin of antiquity
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English antiquite < Anglo-French < Latin antīquitās, equivalent to antīqu(us) old (see antique) + -itās -ity
Related forms
preantiquity, noun, plural preantiquities.
subantiquity, noun, plural subantiquities.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for antiquity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Phnicians, like all the other peoples of antiquity, believed matter eternal.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • They are not more gifted than the Basques, and their antiquity is not more wonderful.

  • Philosophic heads must occupy themselves one day with the collective account of antiquity and make up its balance-sheet.

    We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Let us return to our beetle—what will his tirades about its antiquity advance me?

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • And antiquity is cultivated with care and considerable success at the Seven Stars, as a business asset.

British Dictionary definitions for antiquity

antiquity

/ænˈtɪkwɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the quality of being ancient or very old: a vase of great antiquity
2.
the far distant past, esp the time preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
3.
the people of ancient times collectively; the ancients
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
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Word Origin and History for antiquity
n.

late 14c., "olden times," from Old French antiquitet (11c.; Modern French antiquité) "olden times; great age; old age," from Latin antiquitatem (nominative antiquitas) "ancient times, antiquity, venerableness," noun of quality from antiquus (see antique (adj.)). Specific reference to ancient Greece and Rome is from mid-15c.; meaning "quality of being old" is from about the same time. Antiquities "relics of ancient days" is from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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