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- Having lasted from a remote period; having been of long duration; of great age, very old.
- an ancient city an ancient forest
- 1749, Joakim Philander [pseudonym; Friedrich Christian Schoenau], “The Adventure of the Inn”, in Vitulus Aureus: The Golden Calf. Or, A Supplement to Apuleius’s Golden Ass. […], London: Printed for T. Cooper, […], OCLC 5211642, page 119:
- [P]ut the Caſe that the Nobleman of the ancienter Family does not indeed diſgrace his Dignity, but adds nothing to it; having nothing extraordinary to recommend him or diſrecommend him: Whereas the other, by his perſonal Merit, has rais'd himſelf to an equal Dignity. Which of the two in this Suppoſition deſerves the greater Eſteem?
- 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword: The Turk Street Mile”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 483591931, page 2:
- 'I understand that the district was considered a sort of sanctuary,' the Chief was saying. 'An Alsatia like the ancient one behind the Strand, or the Saffron Hill before the First World War. They tell me there was a recognized swag-market down here.'
- Existent or occurring in time long past, usually in remote ages; belonging to or associated with antiquity; old, as opposed to modern.
- an ancient author an ancient empire
- 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion, OL 4103950W:
- Buried within the Mediterranean littoral are some seventy to ninety million tons of slag from ancient smelting, about a third of it concentrated in Iberia. This ceaseless industrial fueling caused the deforestation of an estimated fifty to seventy million acres of woodlands.
- 2013 July–August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
- Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
- (historical) Relating to antiquity as a primarily European historical period; the time before the Middle Ages.
- (obsolete) Experienced; versed.
- Though [he] was the youngest brother, yet he was the most ancient in the business of the realm.
- (obsolete) Former; sometime.
- Alexander Pope
- They mourned their ancient leader lost.
- Alexander Pope
Terms derived from ancient (adjective)
having lasted from a remote period
existent or occurring in time long past
history: relating to antiquity
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
ancient (plural ancients)
- A person who is very old.
- A person who lived in ancient times.
- (heraldry, archaic) A flag, banner, standard or ensign.
- (Britain, law) One of the senior members of the Inns of Court or of Chancery.
- (obsolete) A senior; an elder; a predecessor.
- Junius and Andronicus […] in Christianity […] were his ancients.
- The Manual of Heraldry, Fifth Edition, by Anonymous, London, 1862, online at 
- ancient in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- ancient in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- ancient at OneLook Dictionary Search