\ ə-ˈnent How to pronounce anent (audio) \

Definition of anent

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Anent looks like a rather old-fashioned word. It is, in fact, very old (an earlier sense of the word can be found in Beowulf, from approximately 800 A.D.), and at one point it was almost obsolete. It had nearly died out by the 17th century, but it was revived in the 19th century. Various usage commentators have decried "anent" as "affected" and "archaic." It is not archaic, however. Although "anent" is rarely found in speech, plenty of examples of current use can be found in written sources. Dead words do occasionally rise from the grave, and "anent" is one of them.

First Known Use of anent

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anent

Middle English onevent, anent, from Old English on efen alongside, from on + efen even

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The first known use of anent was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Anent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anent. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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