an·​ti·​quar·​i·​an | \ ˌan-tə-ˈkwer-ē-ən How to pronounce antiquarian (audio) \

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 How to pronounce antiquarianism (audio) \ noun

Examples of antiquarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The late English antiquarian Hilda Ellis Davidson suggested that some elements of Ragnarok—the Sun turned to black, flames shooting toward the sky—could have been inspired by the eruption of volcanos in Iceland. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Wolf’s jaw” star cluster may have inspired parts of Ragnarök myth," 16 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Helmed by Executive Director Helen Allen and Associate Executive Director Michael Diaz-Griffith, the event celebrated its 65th anniversary this year thanks to its many antiquarian patrons. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Oldies but Goodies: The 10 Standout Antiques from The Winter Show," 18 Jan. 2019 Once again, the show includes Book Alley, a section devoted to antiquarian, art and collectible books. Laura Fenton, ELLE Decor, "State of the Art Fairs," 18 Jan. 2012 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

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antiquarian

Spanish Central: Translation of antiquarian

Nglish: Translation of antiquarian for Spanish Speakers

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