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Houghton Mifflin

an·cient1  audio  (nshnt) KEY 

ADJECTIVE:
  1. Of great age; very old.
  2. Of or relating to times long past, especially those of the historical period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire (a.d. 476). See Synonyms at old.
  3. Old-fashioned; antiquated.
  4. Having the qualities associated with age, wisdom, or long use; venerable.
NOUN:
  1. A very old person.
  2. A person who lived in times long past.
  3. ancients
    1. The peoples of the classical nations of antiquity.
    2. The ancient Greek and Roman authors.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English auncien, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *antenus : Latin ante, before; see ant- in Indo-European roots + -nus, adj. and n. suff

OTHER FORMS:
ancient·ly(Adverb), ancient·ness(Noun)


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