I. adjective 1. belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence • the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean.
2. having been in existence for a very long time • ancient forests.
‹humorous› showing or feeling signs of age or wear
• an ancient pair of jeans
• you make me feel ancient.
‹humorous› an old man
• a solitary ancient in a tweed jacket.
III. phrases 1. the Ancient of Days a biblical title for God. 2. the ancients a. the people of ancient times, especially the Greeks and Romans of classical antiquity. b. the classical Greek and Roman authors. • a thorough knowledge of the ancients is a prerequisite of criticism.
IV. derivatives ancientness noun
– origin late Middle English: from Old French ancien, based on Latin ante ‘before’.