Definition of antediluvian
- an antediluvian automobile
- that antediluvian relic known as a slide rule
- an antediluvian prejudice
- antediluvian in his politics
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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
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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."
: very old or old-fashioned
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antediluvian
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