Simple Definition of antediluvian
: very old or old-fashioned
Full Definition of antediluvian
1 : of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible
2 a : made, evolved, or developed a long time ago <an antediluvian automobile> b : extremely primitive or outmoded <an antediluvian prejudice>
Examples of antediluvian in a sentence
He has antediluvian notions about the role of women in the workplace.
<found evidence in the Middle East of an antediluvian people previously unknown to history>
Did You Know?
Before there was "antediluvian," there were the Latin words ante (meaning "before") and "diluvium" (meaning "flood"). As long ago as 1646, English speakers were using "antediluvian" to describe conditions they believed existed before the great flood described in the biblical account of Noah and the ark. By the early 1700s, the word had come to be used as both an adjective and a noun referring to anything or anyone prodigiously old. Charles Darwin used it to characterize the mighty "antediluvian trees" some prehistoric mammals might have used as a food source, and in his American Notes, Charles Dickens described an elderly lady who informed him, "It is an extremely proud and pleasant thing . . . to be an antediluvian."
Origin of antediluvian
ante- + Latin diluvium flood — more at deluge
First Known Use: 1646
Learn More about antediluvian
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "antediluvian"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up antediluvian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).