antiquity

If you find an antiquity, call a museum: you just found something very old. Antiquity can also mean the idea of oldness.

The word antique should be a clue to the meaning of this word, which refers to things that are extremely old or ancient. This isn't grandparent old — this is really old, like hundreds or even thousands of years old. People also use this word to compare old ways of doing things to new ways: you could say an old-fashioned idea is an antiquity that goes against modernity (newer ideas and ways of doing things). Antiquity can also mean the time before the Middle Ages.

Definitions of antiquity
  1. noun
    the historic period preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
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    type of:
    age, historic period
    an era of history having some distinctive feature
  2. noun
    an artifact surviving from the past
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    examples:
    Rosetta Stone
    a part of an inscribed granite stela that was originally about six feet tall and was set up in 196 BC; the inscriptions in hieroglyphics and Demotic and Greek gave the first clues to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics
    types:
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    antique
    any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity
    relic
    an antiquity that has survived from the distant past
    Roman building
    a building constructed by the ancient Romans
    stela, stele
    an ancient upright stone slab bearing markings
    Roman basilica, basilica
    a Roman building used for public administration
    archeological remains
    a relic that has been excavated from the soil
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  3. noun
    extreme oldness
    synonyms: ancientness
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    type of:
    oldness
    the quality of being old; the opposite of newness
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