ar·​cha·​ism | \ ˈär-kē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce archaism (audio) , -(ˌ)kā-ˌi-\

Definition of archaism

1 : the use of archaic diction or style
2 : an instance of archaic usage
3 : something archaic especially : something (such as a practice or custom) that is outmoded or old-fashioned

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Other Words from archaism

archaist \ -​ist How to pronounce archaist (audio) \ noun
archaistic \ ˌär-​kē-​ˈis-​tik How to pronounce archaistic (audio) , -​(ˌ)kā-​ \ adjective
archaize \ ˈär-​kē-​ˌīz How to pronounce archaize (audio) , -​(ˌ)kā-​ \ verb

Examples of archaism in a Sentence

the archaisms “methinks” and “saith”

Recent Examples on the Web

That phrase, which may strike some young American ears as an archaism if not an oxymoron, is worth unpacking, and Amis provides readers with a pocket account of the historical preconditions of his extravagant fame. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "In His New Collection, ‘The Rub of Time,’ Martin Amis Takes On Everyone From Travolta to Trump," 28 Feb. 2018 For the Latin American left, that vision has congealed into archaism. The Economist, "BelloTime to bury Che Guevara for good," 12 Oct. 2017 But the main challenge for any translator is to remain true to Virgil without wrenching him into archaism or stiffness. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Of Arms and the Man," 22 Sep. 2017 Full of archaisms, the language has a neo-Nabokovian extravagance, occasionally overindulgent. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 13 Feb. 2017

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

1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for archaism

New Latin archaïsmus, from Greek archaïsmos, from archaios

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Statistics for archaism

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Time Traveler for archaism

The first known use of archaism was in 1643

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More Definitions for archaism



English Language Learners Definition of archaism

: an old word or expression that is no longer used : an archaic word or expression

More from Merriam-Webster on archaism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with archaism Encyclopedia article about archaism

Comments on archaism

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


recurring in steady succession

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