Share this entry
antediluvian Line breaks: ante|dilu¦vian
Pronunciation: /ˌantɪdɪˈluːvɪən/

Definition of antediluvian in English:


1Of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood: gigantic bones of antediluvian animals
More example sentences
  • In addition, the parallels between the Sumerian and biblical antediluvian data open up the possibility of establishing chronological correlations between the rest of the Kings List and the book of Genesis.
  • An antediluvian civilization, thriving and technologically advanced prior to the flood, managed to survive the flood due to their technological prowess.
  • One even tells its followers that they may relive former lives, back into antediluvian periods.
before the flood, prehistoric, primeval, primordial, primal, earliest, ancient, early
1.1chiefly humorous Ridiculously old-fashioned: they maintain antediluvian sex-role stereotypes
More example sentences
  • In the new dispensation, religion is being hemmed into a narrow, private world, as if a public commitment to certain beliefs is old-fashioned and antediluvian, like wearing your shirt inside your drawers.
  • But I cannot see the House of Lords' decision as some sort of cataclysm which has put a quarter of a century's family jurisprudence into antediluvian obsolescence.
  • ‘The newspaper industry prices itself in a way that is at best archaic and at worst antediluvian,’ he says.
French passé
British informal past its/one's sell-by date
North American informal horse and buggy, mossy


Mid 17th century: from ante- + Latin diluvium 'deluge' + -an.

  • deluge from Late Middle English:

    This is from an Old French variant of diluve ‘flood’, from Latin diluvium, from diluere ‘wash away’, also the source of dilute (mid 16th century). The English word antediluvian (mid 17th century) meaning literally ‘before the (biblical) Flood’ is also based on Latin diluvium.

Words that rhyme with antediluvian

alluvion, diluvian, Peruvian
Definition of antediluvian in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words