9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-nak-ruh-niz-uh m] /əˈnæk rəˌnɪz əm/
something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time:
The sword is an anachronism in modern warfare.
an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one:
To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.
Origin of anachronism
1640-50; < Latin anachronismus < Greek anachronismós a wrong time reference, equivalent to anachron(ízein) to make a wrong time reference (see ana-, chron-, -ize) + -ismos -ism
Related forms
[an-uh-kron-ik-lee] /ˌæn əˈkrɒn ɪk li/ (Show IPA),
adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anachronism
  • This is not an anachronism, this is a poet.
  • At other moments, the film wallows in sentimental anachronism.
  • Even in 1915, it was an anachronism.
  • It is time to rethink the public funding of this anachronism from the past.
  • It keeps it from becoming an ossified anachronism.
  • Though the fanciful millinery is an anachronism, the event remains an enchanting scene.
  • The greeting, like the man, is something of a Hollywood anachronism.
  • The notion of downloading files and keeping them is an anachronism.
  • It resists the assumption that live performance in dance-pop has become an anachronism.
  • You can't make a modern, liberal institution out of such an anachronism.
British Dictionary definitions for anachronism


the representation of an event, person, or thing in a historical context in which it could not have occurred or existed
a person or thing that belongs or seems to belong to another time: she regards the Church as an anachronism
Derived Forms
anachronistic, adjective
anachronistically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin anachronismus, from Greek anakhronismos a mistake in chronology, from anakhronizein to err in a time reference, from ana- + khronos time
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 anachronism

1640s, "an error in computing time or finding dates," from Latin anachronismus, from Greek anakhronismos, from anakhronizein "refer to wrong time," from ana- "against" (see ana-) + khronos "time" (see chrono-). Meaning "something out of harmony with the present" first recorded 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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