Definition of archaism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɑːkeɪɪz(ə)m/


1A thing that is very old or old-fashioned, especially an archaic word or style of language or art: conscious archaisms inspired by French harpsichord music
More example sentences
  • Legal language seems to rest on archaisms like ‘hereinafter.’
  • The style is very literary and carefully wrought, filled with archaisms and with echoes of Lamb's master Sterne.
  • In diction that juxtaposes archaisms with a lyricism that defies easy explication, McCarthy offers not a simple subject position but a widening pool of imagistic encounter.
1.1 [mass noun] The use or conscious imitation of archaic styles or features in language or art: Mozart’s use of archaism
More example sentences
  • The crux of the dispute is whether Ptolemy was the mainstream and Dorotheus the breakaway development, or Dorotheus the mainstream and Ptolemy a deliberate attempt at archaism, perhaps for artistic reasons.
  • The terminology of appearance and essence in Lukacs' critique of expressionism thus echoed his analysis of the outer archaism and inner modernity of naturalism.
  • It sounds like all the songs were recorded ten years ago, left in a vault to mature to archaism and then brought out in a fit of nostalgia.



Pronunciation: /ɑːkeɪˈɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • The foot is divided by four flanges and shows archaistic motifs vaguely suggestive of animal forms.
  • Most of the archaistic and literal words can be found in lyrics dealing with religion and history.
  • Created in Rome in 1912, it is one of Manship's earliest works in which he employs these archaistic elements.


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin archaismus, from Greek arkhaismos, from arkhaizein 'imitate archaic styles', from arkhaios 'ancient', from arkhē 'beginning'.

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