UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈeɪnʃənt/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈeɪnʃənt/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ānshənt)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
an•cient1 /ˈeɪnʃənt/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. Ancient Historyof, dating from, or in a time long past, esp. before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476:ancient civilizations of Greece and Egypt.
  2. very old;
    aged:an ancient wise man.

n. [countable]
  1. the ancients, the civilized people of a long time ago, esp. the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and Egyptians:the writings and culture of the ancients.
  2. a very old person.
an•cient•ness, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
an•cient1  (ānshənt),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. Ancient Historyof or in time long past, esp. before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476:ancient history.
  2. dating from a remote period;
    of great age:ancient rocks; ancient trees.
  3. very old;
    aged:an ancient folk tale.
  4. being old in wisdom and experience;
  5. old-fashioned or antique.

  1. a person who lived in ancient times.
  2. one of the classical writers of antiquity.
  3. a very old or aged person, esp. if venerable or patriarchal.
  4. ancients: 
    • the civilized peoples, nations, or cultures of antiquity, as the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and Egyptians (usually prec. by the).
    • the writers, artists, and philosophers of ancient times, esp. those of Greece and Rome.
ancient•ness, n. 
  • Vulgar Latin *antiānus, equivalent. to Latin ante(ā) before (see ante-) + -ānus -an; late Middle English forms with -t- developed by confusion with the present participle ending -nt (see -ent)
  • Anglo-French; Old French ancien
  • Middle English auncien 1300–50
    • 2, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Ancient, antiquated, antique, old-
      fashioned refer to something dating from the past.
      Ancient implies existence or first occurrence in a distant past:an ancient custom.Antiquated connotes something too old or no longer useful:an antiquated building.Antique suggests a curious or pleasing quality in something old:antique furniture.Old-
      fashioned may disparage something as being out of date or may approve something old as being superior:an old-fashioned hat; old-fashioned courtesy.
    • 2, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged new, modern.

an•cient2  (ānshənt),USA pronunciation n. [Obs.]
  1. the bearer of a flag.
  2. a flag, banner, or standard;
  • variant of ensign by confusion with ancient1 1545–55

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
ancient /ˈeɪnʃənt/ adj
  1. dating from very long ago: ancient ruins
  2. very old; aged
  3. of the far past, esp before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (476 ad)
  1. (often plural) a member of a civilized nation in the ancient world, esp a Greek, Roman, or Hebrew
  2. (often plural) one of the classical authors of Greek or Roman antiquity
  3. archaic an old man
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French ancien, from Vulgar Latin anteanus (unattested), from Latin ante before

ˈancientness n
'ancient' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [philosophy, science] according to the ancients, [devised, developed] by the ancients, the civilizations of the ancients, more...

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