relic

play
noun rel·ic \ˈre-lik\

Definition of relic

  1. 1a :  an object esteemed and venerated because of association with a saint or martyrb :  souvenir, memento

  2. 2 relics plural :  remains, corpse

  3. 3 :  a survivor or remnant left after decay, disintegration, or disappearance

  4. 4 :  a trace of some past or outmoded practice, custom, or belief

Examples of relic in a Sentence

  1. a crude stone ax and other relics of the Neanderthals

  2. in my grandparents' attic are many groovy relics from the 1960s

Recent Examples of relic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relic'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of relic

Middle English relik, from Anglo-French relike, from Medieval Latin reliquia, from Late Latin reliquiae, plural, remains of a martyr, from Latin, remains, from relinquere to leave behind — more at relinquish


First Known Use: 13th century



RELIC Defined for English Language Learners

relic

play
noun

Definition of relic for English Language Learners

  • : something that is from a past time, place, culture, etc.

  • : an object (such as a piece of clothing or the bone of a saint) that is considered holy


RELIC Defined for Kids

relic

play
noun rel·ic \ˈre-lik\

Definition of relic for Students

  1. 1 :  something left behind after decay or disappearance They uncovered relics of an ancient city.

  2. 2 :  an object that is considered holy because of its connection with a saint or martyr



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to bile

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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