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Ancient history

the study or a course of study of history before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476.
information or an event of the recent past that is common knowledge or is no longer pertinent:
Last week’s news is ancient history.
an event, as in a person’s life, that occurred in the remote past and has no practical relationship with the present:
She was my best friend in high school, but that’s ancient history now.
Contemporary Examples

Though this might not sound like much of a breakthrough, Geffen argues that it is a huge bombshell in the ancient history world.
Secrets of the Screaming Man Rachel Syme November 21, 2008

We even predicted it as one of our hottest trends of 2013 a whole year ago, ancient history in Kardashian-and-Kanye time.
Hot Baby Names for 2014 Linda Rosenkrantz & Pamela Redmond Satran December 5, 2013

The major concern right now is restoring the NATO supply lines—not worrying about something that is now ancient history.
Did Bin Laden’s Widow Lie? Jahanzeb Aslam March 29, 2012

And if that becomes the case, then pandemics, such as in the movie Contagion, should become things of ancient history.
The Big Idea: Craig Venter On the Future of Life J. Craig Venter October 24, 2013

Moreover, the past is not confined to a filing cabinet stamped “ancient history.”
Raúl Castro Honors Mandela, but Ignores His Message Alex Massie December 9, 2013

Historical Examples

The leading of the children of Israel out of Egypt was one of the outstanding movements of a great population in ancient history.
The Call of the World W. E. Doughty

So we may read ‘between the lines’ ancient history and philosophy into modern, and modern into ancient.
Laws Plato

Almost all the knowledge I possess of ancient history was obtained in this way, in one year.
The Young Man’s Guide William A. Alcott

What revelations as to the ancient history of Mexico might be contained in this cave!
Adventures of a Young Naturalist Lucien Biart

I had a long conversation with the emperor, particularly on ancient history and Csar.
Letters to an Unknown Prosper Mrime

the history of the ancient world from the earliest known civilizations to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 a.d
(informal) a recent event or fact sufficiently familiar to have lost its pertinence

noun phrase

Something or someone from the past, esp an old romance: Max is ancient history
A past event, as in She’s talking about her sea voyage, but that’s ancient history, or And then there was his divorce, but you don’t want to hear ancient history. This hyperbolic idiom transfers the field of ancient history to a much-repeated tale.


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  • Ancient lights

    noun (usually functioning as sing) the legal right to receive, by a particular window or windows, adequate and unobstructed daylight Historical Examples ancient lights are not provided for, and chimneys are not mentioned. The Story of London Henry B. Wheatley A good example of what I mean is to be found in number fifteen of […]

  • Ancient mystic order rosae crucis

    See under (def 2). Abbreviation: AMORC. (in the 17th and 18th centuries) a person who belonged to a secret society laying claim to various forms of occult knowledge and power and professing esoteric principles of religion. a member of any of several later or modern bodies or societies professing principles derived from or attributed to […]

  • Ancient regime

    . Contemporary Examples Smiles, or lack thereof, did not bring down the ancient regime, of course. The French Court’s Royal Ban on Smiles William O’Connor December 13, 2014 Historical Examples In Virginia there continued to appear from England adherents of the ancient regime. Pioneers of the Old South Mary Johnston Their wars became less and […]

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