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This pae is under active discussion, but in the policy discussion page Wiktionary:Obsolete and Archaic Terms and it's associated talk pae Wiktionary talk:Obsolete and Archaic Terms--Richardb 14:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Extract from policy discussion page: Note! As at 14 August 2006, this is not yet Wiktionary policy. Please amend if necessary at a later date. Andrew massyn 21:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)


No longer in use; found only in very old texts. Examples: zyxt, yclept

Virtually noöne would currently use the word or meaning, and very, very few would understand the word or meaning if it was used in speech or text.


No longer in general use, but still found in some contemporary texts (eg, the Bible). Examples: thou (singular second-person subject; "you"), œconomy

Generally understood by educated people, but rarely used in current texts or speech.


Still in use, but generally only by older people, and considered unfashionable or superseded, particularly by younger people. Examples: wireless, groovy, gramophone, gay (in the senses of "bright", "happy", etc.)

Old English[edit]

Ancient words, from before AD 1100, that are so differently spelt from current spelling, or completely different in meaning, as to be virtually a foreign language to modern English speakers. These are to be treated as foreign words needing translation from the language of Old English, and not as English words at all, and thus not needing tagging as Archaic or Obsolete.

What of Middle English words from between AD 1100 and AD 1550/1600, when Modern English is considered to start?


What should I do when my archaic words get deleted? The deletion policy says specifically not to delete words for being archaic. Mathiastck 00:01, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


Rfd-redundant: "(of words) No longer in ordinary use, though still used occasionally to give a sense of antiquity."

From RFV:

Rfv-sense: "(of words) No longer in ordinary use, though still used occasionally to give a sense of antiquity." Having a hard time seeing how to verify this as distinct from sense 1 ("of or characterized by antiquity"). I suppose we would need something like a use of "archaic vocabulary" to refer not to obsolete words but specifically to a preexisting body of words regarded as archaisms. Or something that would specifically avoid referring to a modern usage of a little-known obsolete term as "archaic", reserving that term for archaisms already established in speech. Alternatively, perhaps this could be converted to a usage note on the ways the term is documented in various dictionaries? -- Visviva 20:42, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The challenged definition is quite similar to one of the senses given in each of MWOnline, RHU, AHD, Collins Pocket, Encarta, etc. DCDuring TALK 22:14, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Seems comparable to #Irish above. It exists but it could take dozens of hours to wade through all the other uses of archaic to fin it. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:05, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Move to RFD. If someone had presented cites like Visviva describes, this would obviously be a keep, but as it is, I think it's an {{rfd-redundant}}. (More precisely: I think its use in reference to words is in clearly widespread use, the question is merely whether we want to treat that separately from the more general sense.) —RuakhTALK 20:39, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

RuakhTALK 22:10, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

By the way, keep per DCDuring's comment above. —RuakhTALK 22:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Backasswardly, I have provided citations that show how editors and translators (mostly) use "archaic" in reference to the language of the authors of the works they are editing and translating. I personally can't quite follow Visviva's comment. Whether our existing definition is the best, I don't know, but there does seem to be a distinct literary use of the term. DCDuring TALK 23:30, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
As I understand Visviva's comment, his point is that any word describable by sense 2 is also describable by sense 1, so the only citations that would specifically support sense 2 as a distinct sense are citations that explicitly distinguish "archaic" words from (say) "obsolete" words (even though "obsolete" words are also describable by sense 1). However, nothing in WT:CFI demands that we have citations that specifically support sense 2 as a distinct sense, so I didn't feel justified in removing the sense as "RFV failed" on that basis. (And I would strenuously oppose adding such a requirement to the CFI. One reason to list two senses separately is that they're clearly distinguishable by citations, but there are plenty of other potential subjective reasons. We might almost as well demand that each occurrence of the sense-label {{slang}} be justified by three cites where an old person says, "I don't know what that means. Talk like a normal person, young man.") —RuakhTALK 00:22, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
By the way, google books:"archaic or obsolete" gets well over a thousand hits, but it's hard to be sure of the distinction they're drawing between the two. (And some might not be drawing any distinction; "or" sometimes connects synonyms, when some sort of mentioniness is involved.) google books:"archaic or even obsolete", though it gets well under a hundred, might actually be more useful. —RuakhTALK 20:43, 31 December 2010 (UTC)


Make this word redundant? No way!!! It is a beautiful word, often used. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

It is easily enough understood from the one def that it is also used to express antiquity but since it is demonstrated as a unique additional meaning but not very much different merge it onto the end of the other definition. This is a case of a better definition being needed not a second one.Gtroy 20:09, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

kept, no consensus -- Liliana 13:33, 18 October 2011 (UTC)