I. noun — [ mass noun] 1. the ancient past, especially the period of classical and other human civilizations before the Middle Ages • the great civilizations of antiquity.
2. [ count noun] (usu. antiquities) — an object, building, or work of art from the ancient past • a collection of Islamic antiquities.
3. great age • a church of great antiquity.
– origin Middle English: from Old French antiquite, from Latin antiquitas, from antiquus ‘old, former’ (see antique).