an·​te·​di·​lu·​vi·​an | \ ˌan-ti-də-ˈlü-vē-ən How to pronounce antediluvian (audio) , -(ˌ)dī- \

Definition of antediluvian

1 : of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible
2a : 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

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Other Words from antediluvian

antediluvian noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for antediluvian



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Before there was antediluvian, there were the Latin words ante (meaning "before") and diluvium (meaning "flood"). In the 1600s, 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. Naturalist 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."

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
Recent Examples on the Web In the antediluvian times of 2016, Los Angeles’s new stadium had been picked to host last year’s Super Bowl. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 8 Feb. 2022 Their complicated and antediluvian fruitcake recipe was handwritten on a document that was battered by time and annual refolding. Jacques Kelly,, 25 Dec. 2021 After all, the arrangement Nagel has with his baby mamas is arguably not just regressive but antediluvian. Stephanie H. Murray, The Week, 23 Dec. 2021 He was signed for 2021 to add some life to a rushing attack led by antediluvian Frank Gore's 653 yards in 2020. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 4 May 2021 Why then risk reputational damage by seeking the top position of an organization marked by decades of endemic corruption and antediluvian thinking? Samindra Kunti, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 One stop could be Nederland’s antediluvian Goldminer Hotel, listed in the Registrar of Historic Places. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2020 Yet this paragon was managed according to an antediluvian five-volume set of rules. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, 2 Mar. 2020 At worst, Muslims were castigated as a community with antediluvian beliefs. Sharik Laliwala, Quartz India, 20 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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First Known Use of antediluvian

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antediluvian

ante- + Latin diluvium flood — more at deluge

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The first known use of antediluvian was in 1646

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Cite this Entry

“Antediluvian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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