A relic is a fragment from the past — one of Elvis's guitars, an ancient piece of pottery or even an outmoded way of thinking -– that remains behind. Your dad might love his old albums, but to you, they're just relics.

The noun relic is derived from relinquere, Latin for "to leave behind." A crumbling Roman wall is a relic of a once-great civilization. The superstition that seven years of bad luck will follow if you break a mirror may be a relic of the old superstition that a mirror can trap the souls of those reflected in it. Whether it's an object or an idea, a relic is a remnant of the past. Religious relics are items, such as Buddha’s tooth or St. Anne’s wrist bone, that have been preserved and venerated.

Definitions of relic

n an antiquity that has survived from the distant past

archeological remains
a relic that has been excavated from the soil
Type of:
an artifact surviving from the past

n something of sentimental value

keepsake, souvenir, token
keepsake given as a token of love
favor, favour, party favor, party favour
souvenir consisting of a small gift given to a guest at a party
cracker, cracker bonbon, snapper
a party favor consisting of a paper roll (usually containing candy or a small favor) that pops when pulled at both ends
Type of:
object, physical object
a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow

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