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relic

[rel-ik] /ˈrɛl ɪk/
noun
1.
a surviving memorial of something past.
2.
an object having interest by reason of its age or its association with the past:
a museum of historic relics.
3.
a surviving trace of something:
a custom that is a relic of paganism.
4.
relics.
  1. remaining parts or fragments.
  2. the remains of a deceased person.
5.
something kept in remembrance; souvenir; memento.
6.
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.
7.
a once widespread linguistic form that survives in a limited area but is otherwise obsolete.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French relique < Latin reliquiae (plural) remains (> Old English reliquias), equivalent to reliqu(us) remaining + -iae plural noun suffix
Related forms
reliclike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for relic
  • But one relic that is seldom discussed is the religious segregation that persists on university campuses throughout the country.
  • However, neither the relic nor the mountain have yet to be discovered by the world.
  • It's definitely lamentable that the concept of high fidelity seems to be largely a lost relic.
  • Add a few fibs to the mix and the plague of polling and surveys might possibly become an electoral relic.
  • In addition to their mitochondria, plants have a second relic symbiont, the chloroplast.
  • However, the book appears to be in danger of becoming a relic.
  • For seven decades, they were a curiosity, a relic of a lighter-than-air future that never quite came true.
  • So, it's time to ditch the retro relic and replace it with something from this century.
  • Today, that sentiment is scoffed at as an antediluvian relic of a simpler time.
  • Glittering pipelines crossing the whole area reveal that the place is not merely a relic of the past.
British Dictionary definitions for relic

relic

/ˈrɛlɪk/
noun
1.
something that has survived from the past, such as an object or custom
2.
something kept as a remembrance or treasured for its past associations; keepsake
3.
(usually pl) a remaining part or fragment
4.
(RC Church, Eastern Churches) part of the body of a saint or something supposedly used by or associated with a saint, venerated as holy
5.
(informal) an old or old-fashioned person or thing
6.
(pl) (archaic) the remains of a dead person; corpse
7.
(ecology) a less common term for relict (sense 1)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French relique, from Latin reliquiae remains, from relinquere to leave behind, relinquish
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 relic
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for relic

in religion, strictly, the mortal remains of a saint; in the broad sense, the term also includes any object that has been in contact with the saint. Among the major religions, Christianity, almost exclusively in Roman Catholicism, and Buddhism have emphasized the veneration of relics.

Learn more about relic with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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