an·​tiq·​ui·​ty | \ an-ˈti-kwə-tē How to pronounce antiquity (audio) \
plural antiquities

Definition of antiquity

1 : ancient times especially : those before the Middle Ages a town that dates from antiquity
2 : the quality of being ancient a castle of great antiquity

3 antiquities plural

a : relics or monuments (such as coins, statues, or buildings) of ancient times a museum of Greek antiquities
b : matters relating to the life or culture of ancient times the study of Germanic antiquities
4 : the people of ancient times records left by antiquity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for antiquity


age, agedness, ancientness, hoariness



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Examples of antiquity in a Sentence

The town dates from antiquity. A palace stood here in antiquity. a museum of Roman antiquities
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Recent Examples on the Web

Like the other four planets visible to the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter), Saturn has been known since antiquity. Dan Falk, NBC News, "Facts about Saturn's rings, moons and more," 22 July 2019 Passwords — words or phrases held in secret and known only to the select few — have been part of civilization since classical antiquity. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Fernando Corbató dies at 93; MIT scientist fostered the digital revolution — and the computer password," 16 July 2019 Look further back, though, and ruminating on the human flaws of our leaders, and also on how their human flaws made them our leaders, has been a preoccupation at least since antiquity. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Should Presidents Be ‘Good’ People?," 4 May 2018 Clemente, who spends his time in Italy, India and New York, draws upon a wide array of sources in art, literature and poetry ranging from antiquity to the present day. John Zotos, Dallas News, "Dallas exhibition of art star Francesco Clemente was years in the making — and worth the wait," 1 Aug. 2019 The museum’s collection includes more than 31,000 works from antiquity to the present. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Visit Milwaukee and Wisconsin this summer, before the world does in 2020," 14 July 2019 Eight collections explore the development of European culture from antiquity to the 19th century; there are galleries devoted to Byzantine art as well as artefacts from the Ancient Near East and objects from Muslim societies. C.g. | Berlin, The Economist, "Berlin’s Museum Island gets a much-needed revamp," 12 July 2019 The disease is described in texts from Greek and Roman antiquity, and in an ancient Ayurvedic text, the Sushruta Samhita. James Gorman, New York Times, "Rabies Kills Tens of Thousands Yearly. Vaccinating Dogs Could Stop It.," 22 July 2019 The elaborate design of the somewhat dull institution, then with a spotty collection of antiquities, paintings and furniture and almost no notable program, is a replica of a lavish villa in Herculaneum buried beneath the lava. Christopher Knight,, "Review: Getty Villa’s ‘Buried by Vesuvius’ is exquisite and, at times, explicit," 3 July 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antiquity

see antique entry 1

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Statistics for antiquity

Last Updated

25 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for antiquity

The first known use of antiquity was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of antiquity

: ancient times
: very great age
: objects from ancient times


an·​tiq·​ui·​ty | \ an-ˈti-kwə-tē How to pronounce antiquity (audio) \

Kids Definition of antiquity

1 : ancient times The town dates from antiquity.
2 : very great age a castle of great antiquity

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Comments on antiquity

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


to make or get by devious means

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