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A Christian relic (a bone of a saint)
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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English, from Old French relique, from Latin reliquiae ‎(remains, relics), from relinquō ‎(I leave behind, abandon, relinquish), from re- + linquō ‎(I leave, quit, forsake, depart from).



relic ‎(plural relics)

  1. That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion.
  2. Something old and outdated, possibly kept for sentimental reasons.
    • 1991, U.S. News & World Report (volume 116, issues 9-16, page 72)
      Published in 1982, the now out-of-print computer guide is a real relic, full of dozens of black-and-white pictures of large, bulky computers that you would sooner find in the Smithsonian than on anybody's desk today.
  3. (religion) A part of the body of a saint, or an ancient religious object, kept for veneration.

Usage notes[edit]

By comparison with synonyms, relic emphasizes age, and to some degree value – a “relic of a lost civilization”.


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