1

antic

noun an·tic \ ˈan-tik \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of antic

1 : an attention-drawing, often wildly playful or funny act or action : caper usually plural
  • childish antics
2 archaic : a performer of a grotesque or ludicrous part : buffoon

antic was our Word of the Day on 10/22/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of antic in a Sentence

  1. we'll have no more of your antics, so just settle down

Recent Examples of antic from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of antic

Italian antico ancient thing or person, from antico ancient, from Latin antiquus — more at antique

Other Performing Arts Terms


2

antic

adjective

Definition of antic

1 a : characterized by clownish extravagance or absurdity
  • an antic farce
b : whimsically lighthearted : frolicsome
  • Gelbart's intelligence is antic and playful.
  • —Lloyd Rose
2 archaic : grotesque, bizarre

antically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of antic from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When Renaissance Italians began exploring the ancient Roman ruins around them, they discovered fantastic mural paintings that they called grottesca (which means "grotesques," a name given to the paintings because they were found in caves, or grotte). Because they were so old, the murals were also called antichi, or "ancient things." English speakers adopted antichi, modifying it to antike or anticke, and eventually any behavior or dress reminiscent of the kind depicted in the Roman murals became known as an antic. Within 20 years of its earliest recorded uses as a noun, antic began appearing as an English adjective. Originally, it meant "grotesque" or "bizarre" (a sense now considered archaic), but today it means "playful, funny, or absurd" and the noun means "an often wildly playful or funny act."

Origin and Etymology of antic

see 1antic


ANTIC Defined for English Language Learners

antic

adjective

Definition of antic for English Language Learners

  • : very playful, funny, or silly


ANTIC Defined for Kids

antic

noun an·tic \ ˈan-tik \

Definition of antic for Students

: a wildly playful or funny act or action
  • We laughed at the kitten's antics.


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