AskDefine | Define antique

Dictionary Definition

antique adj
1 made in or typical of earlier times and valued for its age; "the beautiful antique French furniture"
2 out of fashion; "a suit of rather antique appearance"; "demode (or outmoded) attire"; "outmoded ideas" [syn: demode, ex, old-fashioned, old-hat(p), outmoded, passe, passee]
3 belonging to or lasting from times long ago; "age-old customs"; "the antique fear that days would dwindle away to complete darkness" [syn: age-old]


1 an elderly man [syn: old-timer, oldtimer, gaffer, old geezer]
2 any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity


1 shop for antiques; "We went antiquing on Saturday"
2 give an antique appearance to; "antique furniture" [syn: antiquate]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin antiquus, old


  • /ænˈtiːk/


  1. Old, used especially of furniture and household items; out of date.


old; out of date
  • Croatian: antički
  • Italian: antico


  1. An old piece of furniture, household item, or other similar item.
  2. In the context of "figuratively|mildly|pejorative": An old person.


old piece


  1. To shop for antiques; to search for antiques.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile. They are bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought from antique dealers and auction services or purchased online through websites and online auctions. Antique dealers are often members of national trade associations, many of which themselves belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 19 countries, representing 5000 dealers.


In history

Any historical museum makes a considerable use of antiques in order to illustrate historical events and give them a practical context. Just about any object can become an antique if it survives long enough, but value of an antique in the market place is determined by its appeal and social acceptance. For example museums exist of Ephemera, that is of objects and items that would normally be thrown away, such as packaging and advertising flyers and posters.

As heirloom

The term "antique" is pejorative in some instances to describe something passed down from generation to generation.


The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product and year to year. But, some time-tested definitions of antique deserve consideration:
  • ''An item which is at least 50 to 100 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Motor vehicles, tools and other items subject to vigorous use in contrast, may be considered antiques in the U.S. if older than 25 years, and some electronic gadgets of more recent vintage may be considered antiques
  • antique (noun) - Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity.
This definition allow people to make a distinction between genuine antique pieces, vintage items or collectible objects.
The alternative term antiquities'' is commonly used to refer the remains of ancient art and everyday items from antiquity, which themselves are often archaeological artifacts.


"Antiquing" is the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques. Items can be bought for personal use, gifts, and in the case of brokers and dealers, profit. Antiquing is performed at garage sales, estate sales, resort towns, antiques districts, collectives, and international auction houses.
Note that the word "antiquing" may also refer to the art of making an object appear antique through distressing or applying an antique looking paint application.

Antique furniture

The collecting of antique furniture is a particularly popular area of antiques due to the practical characteristics of these antiques. Antique furniture includes dining tables, chairs, bureaus, chests etc. The most common woods are mahogany, oak, pine, walnut and rosewood. In Chinese antique furniture the most common wood is elm a wood common to most regions able to sustain trees. Each wood has its own distinctive grain and colour. Many modern pieces of furniture often use laminate or wood veneer to cheaply achieve the same effect. There are a number of different styles of antique furniture depending on when and where it was made. The most common include Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency and Victorian.
antique in Danish: Antik
antique in German: Antiquität
antique in Spanish: Antigüedad (objeto)
antique in Macedonian: Антиквитет
antique in Dutch: Antiek
antique in Japanese: 骨董品
antique in Simple English: antique
antique in Norwegian: Antikvitet
antique in Swedish: Antikvitet
antique in Turkish: Antika

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Gothic, Methuselah, Victorian, abandoned, abiding, abjured, age-long, age-old, aged, ageless, ago, ancestral, ancient, ancient manuscript, antediluvian, antiquated, antiquity, archaic, archaism, artifact, auld, back number, bibelot, blown over, by, bygone, bypast, cave painting, chronic, classical, collectable, conservative, constant, continuing, curio, dad, dated, dateless, dead, dead and buried, deceased, defunct, departed, deserted, discontinued, disused, diuturnal, dodo, done with, durable, elapsed, elder, elderly, enduring, eolith, evergreen, expired, extinct, finished, fogy, forgotten, fossil, fossilized, fud, fuddy-duddy, gone, gone glimmering, gone-by, granny, grown old, hardy, has-been, heirloom, hoary, immemorial, immutable, intransient, inveterate, irrecoverable, lapsed, lasting, legendary, long-lasting, long-lived, long-standing, long-term, longeval, longevous, longhair, macrobiotic, matriarch, medieval, mezzolith, microlith, mid-Victorian, mossback, neolith, no more, not worth saving, objet d'art, obsolescent, obsolete, of long duration, of long standing, of old, of other times, of yore, old, old as Methuselah, old as history, old as time, old believer, old crock, old dodo, old fogy, old liner, old man, old poop, old woman, old-fashioned, old-time, old-timer, old-timey, old-world, olden, oldfangled, on the shelf, out, out of date, out of use, out-of-date, outdated, outmoded, outworn, over, paleolith, passe, passed, passed away, past, past use, patriarch, pensioned off, perdurable, perduring, perennial, permanent, perpetual, persistent, persisting, petrification, petrified, petrified forest, petrified wood, petroglyph, plateaulith, pop, pops, rarity, reactionary, regular old fogy, relic, relinquished, reliquiae, remaining, remains, renounced, resigned, retired, ruin, ruins, run out, sempervirent, square, stable, starets, staying, steadfast, superannuate, superannuated, superseded, survival, timeless, timeworn, tough, traditional, traditionalist, unfading, vanished, venerable, vestige, vital, worn-out, wound up
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