There are 2 definitions of ancient in English:


Syllabification: an·cient
Pronunciation: /ˈānCHənt


1Belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence: the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean
More example sentences
  • According to the newspaper, the coin belonged to an ancient civilization that flourished in Al-Jouf.
  • A few of the other welcoming faces belonged to friends from my ancient past as a corporate drone.
  • While few details of the screenplay, written by Gibson himself, have been released, the story concerns an ancient civilization 3000 years in the past.
of long ago, early, prehistoric, primeval, primordial, primitive
literary of yore
archaic foregone
1.1Having been in existence for a very long time: an ancient gateway ancient forests
More example sentences
  • Simply put, the tactic has been to make the Clayoquot issue too hard to follow, and in the confusion evade having to fundamentally change the practice of logging in ancient forests.
  • Squinting through nostalgia's rose-tinted eye, I see beautifully realised dungeons and ancient forests with evil monsters and talking walls and things.
  • It is about the survival of the ancient shola forests of Tamil Nadu, with whatever is left of their endemic flora and fauna after the tampering of colonial and independent India.
old, very old, age-old, archaic, timeworn, time-honored, venerable
1.2chiefly humorous Showing or feeling signs of age or wear: an ancient pair of jeans you make me feel ancient
More example sentences
  • I've now lost more than necessary, and am again able to wear ancient pairs of jeans from my youth.
  • Young defender Gareth Barry is a bright spot, but signing two ancient pros in Luc Nillis and David Ginola is finger in the dyke stuff.
  • The neighboring buildings had been updated and shuffled from owner to owner, but this one still had an ancient sign with peeling paint and faded print.
old, aged, elderly, antiquated, decrepit, antediluvian, in one's dotage; old-fashioned, out of date, outmoded, obsolete, passé, démodé
informal horse-and-buggy


archaic or humorous Back to top  
An old person: a solitary ancient in a tweed jacket
More example sentences
  • Sorin (Jozsef Gyabronka, one of the actors who can always be heard) is not the usual whingeing ancient, but a sardonic, angry old man who can laugh bitterly at himself.
  • The team is largely staffed with ancients and has-beens.
  • Some ancients still get a sparkle in their eyes when they remember surfing both swells.


late Middle English: from Old French ancien, based on Latin ante 'before'.


the Ancient of Days

A biblical title for God.
More example sentences
  • Even though, in verse 21, Satan makes war with the saints and prevails against them for a season, Jesus, the Ancient of Days, comes in judgement with His saints and possesses the kingdom.
  • Envision Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel where God's outstretched finger reaches toward Adam, or William Blake's Ancient of Days in which God's fingers form a caliper that sends forth creative light.
  • I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with The Clouds of Heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

the ancients

The people of ancient times, especially the Greeks and Romans of classical antiquity.
More example sentences
  • In fact, some artists and designers in eighteenth-century Rome not only imitated the ancients but actually incorporated antique elements into their own works.
  • In the pre-millennial run-up, this popular fascination with the ancients was mixed into a New Age stew of half-understood ideas about the origins of religious belief.
  • The flower was also a popular aphrodisiac among the ancients (who were then, of course, all ages, both young and old!).
The classical Greek and Roman authors: a thorough knowledge of the ancients is a prerequisite of criticism
More example sentences
  • But none of this means that Adam and Eve are subjects or citizens existing within what either the ancients or Milton would have thought of as a political society.
  • As Jean Seznec established, medieval writers considered themselves the cultural heirs of the ancients.
  • The ancients - Hesiod, Homer, Virgil - struggled with it on their own cosmic terms.



More example sentences
  • As I sucked the iceberg piece, contemplating its ancientness, trying to taste the armor of Caesar or the ash of Krakatoa in infinitesimal traces, the pristine cold water seemed to evaporate through my membranes with no intervening stage.
  • It was the sort of roiling, writhing ancientness I expected.
  • People of Indian origin, although not from upper castes, will mobilise the ancientness of Indian culture to claim superiority.

Definition of ancient in:

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Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: ɪnˈvɛnəm
put poison on or into; make poisonous

There are 2 definitions of ancient in English:


Syllabification: an·cient
Pronunciation: /


A standard, flag, or ensign.
More example sentences
  • The ancient was a banner bearing an heraldic device, the token of ancient or noble descent, borne by a gentleman or a leader in a war.


mid 16th century: alteration of ensign by association with ancien, an early form of ancient1.

Definition of ancient in: