antediluvian

adjective an·te·di·lu·vi·an \ ˌan-ti-də-ˈlü-vē-ən , -(ˌ)dī- \

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
  • that antediluvian relic known as a slide rule
b : extremely primitive or outmoded
  • an antediluvian prejudice
  • antediluvian in his politics

antediluvian

noun

antediluvian was our Word of the Day on 03/22/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of antediluvian in a Sentence

  1. He has antediluvian notions about the role of women in the workplace.

  2. found evidence in the Middle East of an antediluvian people previously unknown to history

Recent Examples of antediluvian from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antediluvian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 and Etymology of antediluvian

ante- + Latin diluvium flood — more at deluge

Other Bible Terms


ANTEDILUVIAN Defined for English Language Learners

antediluvian

adjective

Definition of antediluvian for English Language Learners

  • : very old or old-fashioned


Learn More about 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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!