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 antic (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 On an app that often privileges the antic, Mr. Boutilier’s anti-takes became a wry course correction. New York Times, 8 July 2021 Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool star and resident dad-joke machine, just pulled another antic on his family, this time for Father's Day. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 June 2020 Barbara’s antics lead her to be stung by a nasty horde of bees and then, horror of horrors, to endure the unsightly welts that blossom on her face, rendering her physically unbecoming, at least temporarily. Longreads, 27 Mar. 2020 Duff said in a clip with a laugh at her daughter’s antics. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, 29 Nov. 2019 Generally, a team looks the other way and ignores such antics as long as the on-field production warrants it, then moves on when the headaches outweigh the gratification of the football results. Mark Maske, courant.com, 11 Aug. 2019 Generally, a team looks the other way and ignores such antics as long as the on-field production warrants it, then moves on when the headaches outweigh the gratification of the football results. Mark Maske, chicagotribune.com, 11 Aug. 2019 Baffert said of Improbable’s antics in the starting gate. Stephen Whyno, The Seattle Times, 19 May 2019 Here’s to 150 more episodes of the Baxter family’s antics! Megan Stein, Country Living, 1 Mar. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The antic drama bounces and swings with the hyperbolic energy of a tall tale, one that has grown giddy with wonder and whimsy from the sheer fact of Zola’s having lived to tell it. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 29 June 2021 But Waititi's brand of antic fizziness wouldn't really be right for what is in many ways a tragedy. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 29 June 2021 Greene has raised a gargantuan $3 million for her reelection campaign in the first quarter of 2021, exciting conservatives with her antic performances of right-wing grievance politics. Arkansas Online, 16 May 2021 Greene has raised a gargantuan $3 million for her reelection campaign in the first quarter of 2021, exciting conservatives with her antic performances of right-wing grievance politics. Arkansas Online, 16 May 2021 Greene has raised a gargantuan $3 million for her reelection campaign in the first quarter of 2021, exciting conservatives with her antic performances of right-wing grievance politics. Arkansas Online, 16 May 2021 The dominant mode splits differences between antic figuration and formal order. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 17 May 2021 Greene has raised a gargantuan $3 million for her reelection campaign in the first quarter of 2021, exciting conservatives with her antic performances of right-wing grievance politics. Arkansas Online, 16 May 2021 Greene has raised a gargantuan $3 million for her reelection campaign in the first quarter of 2021, exciting conservatives with her antic performances of right-wing grievance politics. Arkansas Online, 16 May 2021

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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Last Updated

11 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antic. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on antic

Nglish: Translation of antic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of antic for Arabic Speakers

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