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[an-tik-wi-tee] /ænˈtɪk wɪ ti/
noun, plural antiquities.
the quality of being ancient; ancientness:
a bowl of great antiquity.
ancient times; former ages:
the splendor of antiquity.
the period of history before the Middle Ages.
the peoples, nations, tribes, or cultures of ancient times.
Usually, antiquities. something belonging to or remaining from ancient times, as monuments, relics, or customs.
Origin of antiquity
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antiquity
  • Searching for or removal of any object of antiquity including arrowheads, pottery or other artifacts is prohibited.
  • The techniques used in handcrafting silver have changed little since antiquity.
  • No other hominin of such antiquity--including Lucy--is as complete as this one.
  • They are papyruses, scrolls like those on which all the great thoughts of antiquity were once recorded.
  • The truly old ones make the most of their pedigrees, and those of a more recent vintage work hard to create an aura of antiquity.
  • It's something that goes way back into antiquity.
  • Most of its collection deals with antiquity, Mediterranean culture and the history of that region.
  • Their origins are lost in antiquity.
  • There is little doubt about the antiquity of the animal.
  • The city was inhabited until late antiquity, when it was abandoned, probably as a result of repeated raids by pirates.
British Dictionary definitions for antiquity


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being ancient or very old: a vase of great antiquity
the far distant past, esp the time preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
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

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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