Some words that were common in the past are no longer in ordinary use but remain in our stock of words. Many dictionaries divide this type of vocabulary into two categories.
Words and expressions described as archaic are those which haven't been in everyday use for a century or more. Some dictionaries describe such terms as ‘old use’, or ‘old-fashioned use’. You are unlikely to hear anyone using these terms in everyday conversation, or to come across them in modern writing, but you will encounter them in the literature of the past.
Here are some examples:
This category of vocabulary is sometimes used to give a deliberately old-fashioned effect, for example in historical novels. Some writers also use it to amuse people.
Words and expressions described as dated may still be used occasionally, especially by older people, but they are no longer used by most English speakers. Here are some examples of dated words:
Back to Usage.
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