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the quality of being ancient; ancientness:
a bowl of great antiquity.
ancient times; former ages:
the splendor of antiquity.
the period of history before the Middle Ages.
the peoples, nations, tribes, or cultures of ancient times.
Usually, antiquities. something belonging to or remaining from ancient times, as monuments, relics, or customs.
Contemporary Examples

Still, the tradition of a hero with a younger, or everyman, acolyte stretches back to antiquity.
Holy Homophobia, Batman! A Queer Reading of the Dark Knight Rich Goldstein July 25, 2014

Caution: if you’re a British king of antiquity lying in an unmarked grave, your bones are likely to soon be disturbed.
After Richard III, Archeologists Aim To Dig Up Alfred The Great Tom Sykes February 4, 2013

It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a Chinese antiquity.
The Next Art Bubble Vikram Mansharamani April 12, 2011

The danger of the 300 series is that it denies the same dimensionality to Greek antiquity.
‘300’ Is a Misleading, Muscle-Bound Travesty of Ancient History James Romm March 12, 2014

As a center of Christian antiquity, Mosul is considered by many Middle Eastern Christians to be one of their holiest cities.
ISIS Robs Christians Fleeing Its Edict in Mosul: Convert, Leave, or Die Andrew Slater July 21, 2014

Historical Examples

The Phnicians, like all the other peoples of antiquity, believed matter eternal.
Instigations Ezra Pound

Even in antiquity the wiseacres took our royal buffoon too seriously.
The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke

Philosophic heads must occupy themselves one day with the collective account of antiquity and make up its balance-sheet.
We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) Friedrich Nietzsche

Their precise age and antiquity have been disputed with some acrimony.
The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke

And antiquity is cultivated with care and considerable success at the Seven Stars, as a business asset.
The Old Inns of Old England, Volume I (of 2) Charles G. Harper

noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being ancient or very old: a vase of great antiquity
the far distant past, esp the time preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
the people of ancient times collectively; the ancients

late 14c., “olden times,” from Old French antiquitet (11c.; Modern French antiquité) “olden times; great age; old age,” from Latin antiquitatem (nominative antiquitas) “ancient times, antiquity, venerableness,” noun of quality from antiquus (see antique (adj.)). Specific reference to ancient Greece and Rome is from mid-15c.; meaning “quality of being old” is from about the same time. Antiquities “relics of ancient days” is from 1510s.


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