antic

noun
an·​tic | \ ˈan-tik How to pronounce antic (audio) \

Definition of antic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

adjective

Definition of antic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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

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Other Words from antic

Adjective

antically \ ˈan-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Adjective

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."

Examples of antic in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Daltrey’s mic-twirling, Townshend’s windmilling, Moon’s wild-man antics and Entwistle’s stoicism rightfully put them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and the Who take Blossom fans on an ‘Amazing Journey’ into our lost youth," 11 Sep. 2019 As such, Chapter Two’s humor feels more playful, and delivered with a slight wink at an audience who is now familiar with this world and Pennywise’s antics. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'It: Chapter Two' and the Weight of Expectations," 7 Sep. 2019 That’s come not only as a result of his tactics on the pitch, but Bielsa’s antics off it too. Ben Carter, SI.com, "The 50 Greatest Football Managers of All Time," 20 Aug. 2019 While the top golfers in the world will be on the course, don’t expect to see Bill Murray’s buffoonery or Larry the Cable Guy’s antics at Pebble Beach this week. Thomas Wright, The Mercury News, "The basics of the US Open at Pebble Beach," 10 June 2019 Though the couch carnage has yet to be remedied, Rose says the cameras give her a sense of security, and Rocco’s other antics, such as catlike perching on the back of the sofa, provide a chuckle for her and her friends. Laura Daily, Washington Post, "As homeowners find new uses for security cameras, checking law should be first step," 27 Aug. 2019 Below, Snook talks to BAZAAR.com about shooting that pivotal scene with Logan, trying to stay composed in the face of Nicholas Braun's on-set antics, and her own theories about Shiv's past. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "In Season 2, Succession Is Sarah Snook's Show," 12 Aug. 2019 Their antics and soliloquies, however, do something to ease the long hours on the hospital wards and the sickness of lives that fail to change. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Review: Wishing and Waiting," 12 July 2019 While male artists are repeatedly celebrated for their ambition, antics, and their addictions, Love is constantly judged for them. Lisawhill, Longreads, "Live Through This: Courtney Love at 55," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The movie’s an exposition Exposition, a textbook example of telling instead of showing, in which Linklater and two co-writers wrestle Semple’s antic plot onto the screen and lose. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Cate Blanchett makes a break for it in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’," 15 Aug. 2019 But these contrapuntal beats are too infrequent, and the director, Urie, hasn’t worked enough nuance into the more antic sections. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Too much monotone in ‘Bright Colors’ at Studio Theatre," 15 July 2019 And if Monday’s one-minute teaser trailer is any indication, the show wants to be a rager, with wild nights set in the 1800s and a period cast boasting a slew of antic-ready youngsters. Los Angeles Times, "What the ‘Dickinson’? Trailer for AppleTV+ comedy turns poet into a party girl," 26 Aug. 2019 And Weaving excels in the both the antic and ferocious extremes. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Ready or Not’ review: I take this man as my lawful wedded husband. Now, hand me that crossbow.," 19 Aug. 2019 Ultimately, the cliched characterizations weaken Why Women Kill far more than its antic hijinks. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Why Women Kill': TV Review," 15 Aug. 2019 Now that he is poised to become prime minister, there’s a jarring contrast between the air of antic hilarity that so often accrues to Johnson’s public image and the utter seriousness of Britain’s political predicament. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, "Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most eccentric politicians, on track to be next prime minister," 22 July 2019 But Algren resembles the two masters only superficially, in his antic grotesquerie; any deeper affinity is wholly wanting. Algis Valiunas, National Review, "Nelson Algren: Chicago’s Bard of the Downtrodden," 11 July 2019 Harris and Cory Booker instantly saluted Bernie Sanders’s socialized medicine or, even more incredibly, the antic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s multitrillion-dollar Green New Deal? Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump’s ‘Sleepy Joe’ Problem," 19 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of antic

Noun

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for antic

Noun and Adjective

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

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Statistics for antic

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antic

The first known use of antic was in 1529

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More Definitions for antic

antic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of antic

: very playful, funny, or silly

antic

noun
an·​tic | \ ˈan-tik How to pronounce antic (audio) \

Kids Definition of antic

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on antic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antic

Spanish Central: Translation of antic

Nglish: Translation of antic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of antic for Arabic Speakers

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