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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from antiquarian


antiquarianism \ ˌan-​tə-​ˈkwer-​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

Big-game hunters can browse the store’s antiquarian titles, while those looking for quantity will be drawn to the eclectic and constantly updated sales rack out front. Michael Hingston, Washington Post, "In London, it’s easy to find a bookshop that floats your boat. (Really. One is on a barge.)," 13 Sep. 2019 The process, known as proroguing, usually passes without much notice, except for the pompous rituals and antiquarian costumes that accompany it., "When a security team finally tore the lawmakers away, the speaker, John Bercow, remained studiously seated, causing one of the BBC commentators to marvel under her voice, “He’s not going to go.”," 11 Sep. 2019 In 1852, Adie’s grave was exhumed at the direction of the antiquarian Joseph Neil Paton. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Wanted: The Missing Bones of a Scottish ‘Witch’," 3 Sep. 2019 All are invited to Huntington Hospital’s boutique and consignment shop, the Huntington Collection for a special sale of vintage, rare, collectible and antiquarian books. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada area events," 3 Sep. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of antiquarian


1610, in the meaning defined above


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antiquarian

Dictionary Entries near antiquarian








Statistics for antiquarian

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antiquarian

The first known use of antiquarian was in 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for antiquarian



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on antiquarian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antiquarian

Spanish Central: Translation of antiquarian

Nglish: Translation of antiquarian for Spanish Speakers

Comments on antiquarian

What made you want to look up antiquarian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!