"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[an-tik] /ˈæn tɪk/
Usually, antics.
  1. a playful trick or prank; caper.
  2. a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.
  1. an actor in a grotesque or ridiculous presentation.
  2. a buffoon; clown.
  1. a grotesque theatrical presentation; ridiculous interlude.
  2. a grotesque or fantastic sculptured figure, as a gargoyle.
ludicrous; funny.
fantastic; odd; grotesque:
an antic disposition.
verb (used without object), anticked, anticking.
Obsolete. to perform antics; caper.
Origin of antic
1520-30; earlier antike, antique < Italian antico ancient (< Latin antīcus, antīquus; see antique), apparently taken to mean “grotesque,” as used in descriptions of fantastic figures found in Roman ruins
Related forms
antically, adverb
Can be confused
antic, antique. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antic
  • It keeps the crazy premise but does away with such essential ingredients as funny material and antic timing.
  • The dance flows along with the liquid music in one long ripple of antic encounters and near-misses.
  • antic and colleagues probed the activity of neurons in lab dishes one at a time.
  • All too many interpretations seem to favor antic humor and horseplay over romantic entanglements.
  • The place is filled with antic actors, bright colors and props that are meant to convey personality plus.
  • The relatively brief cavalcade begins in an antic humor.
  • His mischievous antic is meant to convey, in his wry way, that even when honored one shouldn't take oneself too seriously.
  • His style was at once simple and antic, serious and slapstick, metaphoric and mischievous.
  • Most of these actions were skillfully planned, carried through with the movement's blend of indignation and antic good cheer.
  • Perhaps it was the writer's idea that suspense would be the intriguing factor in this antic.
British Dictionary definitions for antic


(archaic) an actor in a ludicrous or grotesque part; clown; buffoon
(archaic) fantastic; grotesque
See also antics
Word Origin
C16: from Italian antico something ancient, or grotesque (from its application to fantastic carvings found in ruins of ancient Rome); see antique
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 antic

1520s, "grotesque or comical gesture," from Italian antico "antique," from Latin antiquus "old" (see antique). Originally (like grotesque) a 16c. Italian word referring to the strange and fantastic representations on ancient murals unearthed around Rome (especially originally the Baths of Titus, rediscovered 16c.); later extended to "any bizarre thing or behavior," in which sense it first arrived in English. As an adjective in English from 1580s, "grotesque, bizarre."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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