an·​ti·​quar·​i·​an | \ˌan-tə-ˈkwer-ē-ən \

Definition of antiquarian 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one who collects or studies antiquities



Definition of antiquarian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to antiquarians or antiquities

2 : dealing in old or rare books

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Other Words from antiquarian


antiquarianism \ -​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm \ noun

Examples of antiquarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By the 16th century cardinals and other antiquarians began to take an interest in the sculpture that occasionally turned up in these plots of land. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018 It was discovered in October 1817 by the strongman of the early antiquarians, Italian explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni. Jim Berkeley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Egypt," 5 Oct. 2016 JF Chen's eponymous Melrose Avenue shop is an antiquarian's paradise, offering museum-quality furniture, lighting, decor, and art. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Furniture Dealer Is Auctioning His Personal Collection at Christie’s," 8 Feb. 2018 In their enthusiasm to denigrate medieval relics and their custodians, these Anglican antiquarians also dismissed some rational explanations for corporal incorruption. Katherine Harvey, The Atlantic, "The Saintliness of Undecayed Corpses," 27 Oct. 2017 There are no fewer than a dozen rival theories advanced by a rich confusion of academics, antiquarians and statesmen who contradict one another and sometimes themselves. Smithsonian, "How (and Where) Did Hannibal Cross the Alps?," 29 July 2017 Now antiquarians could deduce that Abu Simbel was built by Ramses II and that its walls contained scenes of the king at the 1275 BC Battle of Kadesh. Smithsonian, "Accessibility Navigation," 19 Apr. 2017 There are no fewer than a dozen rival theories advanced by a rich confusion of academics, antiquarians and statesmen who contradict one another and sometimes themselves. Smithsonian, "How (and Where) Did Hannibal Cross the Alps?," 28 June 2017 At least 15 antiquarians visited the mound at Newgrange in the 200 years between Molyneux and the first truly modern investigator, George Coffey, who visited in the 1890s and again in 1912. Jane Smiley, New York Times, "Jane Smiley Explores Ancient Ireland’s Mysterious Tombs," 20 Dec. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Attempts to recreate the building now would amount to a pastiche or replica, not a restoration, and Mackintosh was an innovator, not an antiquarian. The Economist, "A burnt-out case," 21 June 2018 And while dramatically increased security at the Vatican may go a long way toward preventing a recurrence here, the case is a window into the shadowy world of antiquarian forgeries. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, "Vatican Gets Back Stolen Columbus Letter, but Case Remains a Whodunit," 15 June 2018 Rose City Book & Paper Fair: Lovers of all things bookish are invited to the 12th annual Rose City Book & Paper Fair, which will feature more than 60 dealers in used, rare and antiquarian books and ephemera. Amy Wang,, "Barbara Boxer will open 2018-19 Portland lecture series; Rose City Book & Paper Fair returns," 9 June 2018 More than 80 exhibitors displayed antique furniture, decorative and fine arts, antique and estate jewelry, folk art and antiquarian books from the 17th to 20th centuries throughout the 50,000-square-foot space. Candace Jordan,, "Art and antiques show preview party benefits Northwestern Memorial Hospital," 30 May 2018 For McCain’s days right now — and his book — are a plea to Americans to reconsider, and to reclaim, the principles and even the rhetoric that are our ancient heritage and not, to his mind, antiquarian, obsolete banalities. David M. Shribman,, "John McCain fears for America and thinks you should too," 16 May 2018 Nearly 60 years later, a wedding album handwritten by his mother, Margarita Pedroso y Arostegui, has turned up for sale in Miami by an antiquarian. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "They lost it all in Cuba. Now a seller wants $1,500 for their parents' wedding album | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018 After a lucky meeting with Cameron Treleaven, an antiquarian bookseller from Calgary, he was sent a whole library of explorers’ accounts. The Economist, "Louie Kamookak died on March 22nd," 12 Apr. 2018 It is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and sells a mix of old, new and antiquarian books since 1936. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...Claridge's," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antiquarian.' 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 antiquarian


1610, in the meaning defined above


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of antiquarian was in 1610

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English Language Learners Definition of antiquarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who collects, studies, or sells valuable old things



English Language Learners Definition of antiquarian (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to the collection and study of valuable old things (such as old books)

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