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anachronism

[uh-nak-ruh-niz-uh m] /əˈnæk rəˌnɪz əm/
noun
1.
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.
2.
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
1640-1650
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
anachronically
[an-uh-kron-ik-lee] /ˌæn əˈkrɒn ɪk li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

anachronism

/əˈnækrəˌnɪzəm/
noun
1.
the representation of an event, person, or thing in a historical context in which it could not have occurred or existed
2.
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
n.

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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Encyclopedia Article for anachronism

(from Greek ana, "back," and chronos, "time"), neglect or falsification, intentional or not, of chronological relation. It is most frequently found in works of imagination that rest on a historical basis, in which appear details borrowed from a later age; e.g., a clock in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, an attendant to the Pharaoh shod in tennis shoes in Cecil B. deMille's The Ten Commandments. Anachronisms originate in disregard of the different modes of life and thought that characterize different periods or in ignorance of the facts of history.

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