the part of a building, especially of a house, directly under a roof; garret.
a room or rooms in an attic.
a low story or decorative wall above an entablature or the main cornice of a building.
Anatomy. the upper part of the tympanic cavity of the ear.
of, relating to, or characteristic of Greece or of Athens.
(often lowercase) displaying simple elegance, incisive intelligence, and delicate wit.
the dialect of ancient Attica that became the standard language of Classical Greek literature in the 5th and 4th centuries b.c.
Contemporary Examples

And the door to the attic keeps opening as if daring the family to climb its steps.
Insidious’ Unsettling Horror Keith Phipps March 31, 2011

She would periodically show up at the house and stay in the attic, where she hung beads and burned incense.
Wonder Woman’s Creation Story Is Wilder Than You Could Ever Imagine Tom Arnold-Forster November 2, 2014

For instance, records we do have show that she at one point nursed a wounded soldier in the attic of a private house.
The Cross-Dressing Revolutionary: Alex Myers’ New Novel Eric Herschthal February 3, 2014

Across the ocean, in 1942, in her diary Anne Frank pined for a dog just like Rin Tin Tin while trapped in an attic.
Must Love Dogs Adam Auriemma September 29, 2011

At one point, Fiske opened a door that led, he said, up the “slave staircase” to the attic where the slaves slept.
The House that Slavery Built Jane Ciabattari July 15, 2013

Historical Examples

The mark of this prepotent previous man is left on the house from cellar to attic.
Certain Personal Matters H. G. Wells

You’ll stay in the attic until you choose to answer my question.
A harum-scarum schoolgirl Angela Brazil

That is, not for keeps, but Pa has got frightened about burglars, and he gets up into the attic to sleep.
The Grocery Man And Peck’s Bad Boy George W. Peck

The skylight was more inaccessible than the one in her own attic.
A harum-scarum schoolgirl Angela Brazil

In spite of its fire and its Frenchness it is too measured, too attic.
Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature – 5. The Romantic School in France Georg Brandes

a space or room within the roof of a house
(architect) a storey or low wall above the cornice of a classical façade
of or relating to Attica, its inhabitants, or the dialect of Greek spoken there, esp in classical times
(often not capital) classically elegant, simple, or pure: an Attic style
the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken and written in Athens: the chief literary dialect of classical Greek See also Aeolic, Arcadic, Doric, Ionic

1590s, “pertaining to Attica,” from Latin Atticus, from Greek Attikos “Athenian, of Attica,” the region around Athens (see Attica). Attested from 1560s as an architectural term for a type of column base.

“top story under the roof of a house,” 1855, shortened from attic storey (1724). The term Attic order in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low story above a building’s main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied to “a low decorative facade above the main story of a building” (1690s in English), and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via French. attique. “An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof” [Weekley].

attic at·tic (āt’ĭk)
The upper portion of the tympanic cavity above the tympanic membrane that contains the head of the malleus and the body of the incus. Also called epitympanum.


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  • Attic base

    (in classical architecture) a base for a column, consisting of an upper and a lower torus separated by a scotia between two fillets.

  • Attic order

    noun a low pilaster of any order set into the cornice of a building

  • Attic salt

    dry, delicate wit. Historical Examples There is the attic salt which springs from the charm in the words, from the flash of wit, from the spirited and brilliant sally. Book of Wise Sayings W. A. Clouston Alas, if I had only taken the supposed rapidity of my progress with a grain of attic salt! Atlantic […]

  • Attica

    a region in SE Greece, surrounding Athens: under Athenian rule in ancient times. a town in W New York: state prison. Contemporary Examples Take Attica Prison in upstate New York, the notorious site of a riot in 1971. Powerbroker Richard Ravitch Thinks New York Might Be Doomed Josh Robin April 25, 2014 Historical Examples Zeus […]

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