1 of 3

noun (1)

at·​tic ˈa-tik How to pronounce attic (audio)
: a low story or wall above the main order of a facade in the classical styles
: a room behind an attic
: a room or a space immediately below the roof of a building : garret
: something resembling an attic (as in being used for storage)


2 of 3


At·​tic ˈa-tik How to pronounce Attic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of Athens or its ancient civilization
: marked by simplicity, purity, and refinement
an Attic prose style


3 of 3

noun (2)

: a dialect of ancient Greek originally used in Attica and later the literary language of the Greek-speaking world

Example Sentences

Noun (1) rented the attic out to a college student
Recent Examples on the Web
Bruce and her two roommates would turn off the lights and lock themselves in their attic. Dan Rosenzweig-ziff, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2023 Neighbors leaned out windows and watched from the street below as the fire spread toward the front of the attic. Daniel Kool,, 16 Feb. 2023 Get ready to help haul those records out of the attic, because the music-lover in your life will love this funky and nostalgic gift. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 24 Nov. 2022 Authorities said they were told another person, Pablo Ramos, was in the home’s attic. Dallas News, 18 Aug. 2022 Another 57 packages of cocaine weighing 62 kilograms were found in the attic. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Feb. 2023 The founders' ghosts live on in the attic, in dolls' bodies, and Maggie soon becomes enmeshed in their world. The Week Staff, The Week, 27 Feb. 2023 Firefighters located a fire in the rear corner of the two-family residence with heavy smoke coming from the attic, officials said. Staff Report, Hartford Courant, 15 Feb. 2023 So, clear out your shelves and pull out your dusty old records from the attic. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'attic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

French attique, from attique of Attica, from Latin Atticus


Latin Atticus of Attica, from Greek Attikos, from Attikē Attica, Greece

First Known Use

Noun (1)

circa 1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of attic was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near attic

Cite this Entry

“Attic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
at·​tic ˈat-ik How to pronounce attic (audio)
: a room or a space just below the roof of a building


2 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to Athens


from French attique "attic," from attique (an adjective) "of Attica," from Latin Atticus "of Attica"

Word Origin
In ancient Greece the region around Athens was known as Attica, and many of the buildings in Attica had a special feature of a second wall that extended above the top of the main wall or row of columns supporting the roof. When builders in Europe later copied this feature of Attica's buildings, their buildings were said to be in the style of Attica, or the Attic style. Eventually, the word attic came to be used as a noun to refer to this upper wall and later to a room behind the wall under the roof. Today we refer to any room just underneath the roof as the attic, even when the building is not in the style of those in ancient Attica.

Medical Definition


at·​tic ˈat-ik How to pronounce attic (audio)
: the small upper space of the middle ear

called also epitympanic recess

More from Merriam-Webster on attic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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