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mid-15c., "harvest of grapes, yield of wine from a vineyard," from Anglo-French vintage (mid-14c.), from Old French vendage "yield from a vineyard," from Latin vindemia "a gathering of grapes, yield of grapes," from comb. form of vinum "wine" (see wine) + stem of demere "take off" (from de- "from, away from" + emere "to take;" see exempt). Sense shifted to "age or year of a particular wine" (1746), then to a general adjectival sense of "being of an earlier time" (1883). Used of cars since 1928.