Definition of relic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛlɪk/


1An object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest: a museum of railway relics
More example sentences
  • The saddle no longer looked like an interesting historical relic but an instrument of torture.
  • It's a city packed full of historical monuments and relics, of myths and legends, which seem to come to life every time you walk through its century old streets.
  • Models of historic buildings and cultural relics enable architects and archaeologists to study their subject in closer detail than might otherwise be possible.
artefact, historical object, ancient object, antiquity, antique, heirloom, object of virtu, curio;
1.1A part of a deceased holy person’s body or belongings kept as an object of reverence: miracles wrought by the relics of St Stephen
More example sentences
  • The holy relic is believed to protect the 25 sq. km. former Portuguese colony, on the doorstep of China, from natural disasters.
  • Pilgrimages to the sites of miracles and holy relics grew ever more popular, and the number of such places increased.
  • The reverence shown for relics has roots in the celebration of the Eucharist over the graves of the first Christian martyrs.
remains, body parts, bones;
corpse, dead body, cadaver;
holy/sacred objects;
Latin reliquiae
1.2A person or thing that has survived from an earlier time but is now outmoded: the supermodel has become an embarrassing relic from the early 1990s
More example sentences
  • In Scotland, however, the old code remained legal and came to be viewed simultaneously as a relic of outmoded ways of life and as a sign of modernity.
  • Coombs was a relic of an earlier, gentler time, when the privacy of public officials (even politicians) was normally regarded as sacrosanct.
  • Some historians indicated that the four western Kavango groups of today are most probably some of the oldest relics of the earliest inhabitants of central Africa.


Middle English: from Old French relique (originally plural), from Latin reliquiae (see reliquiae).

Words that rhyme with relic

angelic, archangelic, evangelic, melic, melick, philatelic, psychedelic

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