June 20, 2012
archaic (adjective)
\ahr-KAY-ik\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: of, relating to, characteristic of, or surviving from an earlier time; especially : no longer in general use
How do you use it?
The mountain village had few visitors from the outside world, so its people used many archaic words not heard elsewhere.
Are you a word wiz?

Down through the centuries, a number of words that have almost the same meaning as "archaic" have come into English. Which one of the words below do you think is a synonym of "archaic"?

"Ancient," "antique," "old," and "archaic" all mean having come into being or use in the distant past. "Old" may apply to a period of time that's truly long, or only longer than average (for example, "old houses built 200 years ago," or "an old sweater of mine"). "Ancient" describes things that existed or happened in the very distant past (as in, "an ancient custom" or "the ancient pyramids of Egypt"). "Antique" is used for things that have been handed down from times gone by (such as, "antique furniture"), while "archaic" suggests something characteristic of a much earlier time (as in, "archaic language").
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