Definition of antique in English:



  • A collectable object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its age and quality.

    ‘Pauline loves collecting antiques’
    [as modifier] ‘an antique dealer’
    • ‘Carefully-chosen classic antiques and quality paintings should yield solid returns over time.’
    • ‘The home was well maintained and was furnished with many antiques and wall hangings from around the world.’
    • ‘Some people invest in antiques, art, property, wine or other assets.’
    • ‘The Treasury offers antiques, collectibles and a small inventory of contemporary items.’
    • ‘In the 18th century the indicator was called a bottle ticket; today collectors of wine antiques call it a wine label.’
    • ‘Around this time, he met an antiques dealer named Lucille Teasel.’
    • ‘He was interested in shooting, car restoration, collecting antiques, and assorted entrepreneurial schemes.’
    • ‘For example, consider the dark corner of an antiques store where stacks of pictures gather dust.’
    • ‘The show turns people's antiques and collectables into cash at a house sale and then auction.’
    • ‘It's huge, vast, echoing, filled with pieces of Bali, antiques, art pieces, a huge chair collection.’
    • ‘A wide selection of quality antiques and collectables for sale.’
    • ‘He also had a collection of Pennsylvania mining antiques and framed mining certificates.’
    • ‘The Summer Fair is the largest fully vetted fine art and antiques fair in the UK, comprising over 330 dealers.’
    • ‘My parents' love for antiques and fine art was made evident in every corner of the house.’
    • ‘With something to suit everybody from furniture, antiques, plants, tools and other gifts, a visit is a must.’
    • ‘Sixty or so art and antiques dealers will occupy the ground floor, some twenty jewellers the lower level.’
    • ‘His hobbies include collecting antiques, hats and matches, opera, golf and of course, his horses.’
    • ‘According to Delaney, the pieces are antiques of the future as the furniture is recognised for its high design.’
    • ‘There are gilt-framed paintings, oriental antiques, a sofa in trademark red with cream piping.’
    • ‘The antiques dealer found the letters in a box of books and miscellaneous items, which was to be thrown out.’
    collector's item, period piece, museum piece, antiquity, object of virtu
    treasure, relic, curio
    objet d'art
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  • 1Having a high value because of age and quality.

    ‘an antique clock’
    • ‘In the most hurtful insult, the antique bureau bought by his late wife was taken, along with the personal letters it contained, and his daughter's wedding dress and presents were snatched, too.’
    • ‘Get your antique treasures valued as part of Hextable Heritage Centre's annual heritage day.’
    • ‘In the corner of his elegant, third-floor City of London sanctum, just behind his antique desk, there is a grandfather clock marking time.’
    • ‘Maybe all that early web-site material will have historic and antique value.’
    • ‘In fact Proust's life is as delicate, and as easily thrown out of balance as an antique clock.’
    • ‘As he sat on the edge of the large double bed that Emma had slept on last night and looked through an obviously antique jewellery box he found himself suddenly fascinated by the value of the items it held.’
    • ‘A wide range of distinctive antique items - from jewellery, porcelain and paintings to clocks and a selection of furniture - will be on sale.’
    • ‘Her technique has a photographic quality that mimics antique silver gelatin prints.’
    • ‘But their happy day turned to misery when they got home at 11.15 pm to find more than 30 items of jewellery, including antique pearls and brooches, taken.’
    • ‘Police found the antique gun in a grandfather clock at Holy Rood vicarage in Swinton.’
    • ‘But the fact that the building is fully furnished with some of Scotland's finest antique pieces adds to the value which the Executive should have to pay.’
    • ‘Intruders used a fireside peat basket to carry antique silverware, porcelain and clocks to a waiting van.’
    • ‘Officers found an antique, double-barrelled Derringer hidden in a walnut grandfather clock in his bedroom.’
    • ‘There is something beautifully reassuring about the presence of an antique grandfather clock in a home; it makes a statement about permanence and comfort that's hard to beat.’
    • ‘I used to stomp out of my room in protest in the evenings after he placed an antique clock from Turkey outside my room.’
    • ‘A Georgian silver cutlery set, an antique carriage clock, a pendulum clock, rings, a pocket watch, cash and a purse were among items taken.’
    • ‘At various points in my life I have amassed and then jettisoned quantities of antique egg beaters, old buttons and - here's the embarrassing one - pictures of unicorns.’
    • ‘The table used for massage brought from Kerala has antique as well as medicinal value since they were made of trees with medicinal value.’
    • ‘What I like is the collection of antique clocks on display in the inner part of the ground floor.’
    • ‘Very old pieces with their original finish should usually not be repainted or refinished as you may remove the indications of their authenticity and antique value.’
    1. 1.1Intended to resemble the appearance of high-quality old furniture.
      ‘bookshelves with an antique finish’
      • ‘Walk into a furniture or cabinet store and the trend toward using stains and finishes to create an antique look becomes abundantly clear.’
      • ‘In addition to the rich antique finish, these gorgeous sinks are now available in the subtle shine of Brushed Nickel too.’
      • ‘We are now offering our antique reproduction furniture from Indonesia in either a red mahogany or a brown antique finish’
      • ‘All elements are placed on antique looking furniture, teapoys, plant stands and traditional Irani chairs.’
      • ‘The distinctive finish on these mouldings is hand applied to create an antique appearance.’
      • ‘The oak is hand stained with red, yellow, blue and green and then given an antique finish.’
      • ‘Most of the rings in this book are pictured with an antique finish.’
      • ‘This beautiful antique finish table lamp would enhance any style decor.’
      • ‘The crevices of the bead or charm are darkened to give it an antique appearance.’
      • ‘Its embossed finish combined with its rough edges recreate an antique appearance.’
      old, antiquarian, collectable
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  • 2Belonging to ancient times.

    ‘statues of antique gods’
    • ‘You can picture the rugged terrain of rocky beaches and stony slopes with ancient smouldering volcanoes standing guard over antique vines.’
    • ‘During these centuries scores of collectors who saw themselves as connoisseurs of ancient civilizations brought antique marbles to England.’
    • ‘So he bought me an antique ancient Tibetan hatchet which was said to be used to fight evil spirits.’
    • ‘But then I do not expect poetry to be accurate and never really believed the ancient mariner or the traveler from the antique land either.’
    • ‘He prized antique and ancient things and artifacts.’
    • ‘But linear perspective itself is probably a renaissance not an antique invention, and Durer's approach to ancient architecture is remarkably free and unlearned.’
    • ‘Armor reflected the Renaissance idealization of the antique, with decorative motifs taken from classical mythology and ancient history.’
    • ‘Yet, it may be significant that it's a pitcher who holds a couple of batting records for antique players that should by all rights belong to a batter.’
    • ‘The potée then was a sort of antique potage, of varying ingredients, belonging to the bourgeoisie rather than the peasants, and without any special regional connotation.’
    • ‘Upon them sat antique pots holding ancient plants nobly maintaining their vainglory and smugness as they grew greedily towards the late summer sunshine.’
    ancient, of long ago
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    1. 2.1Old-fashioned or outdated.
      ‘antique work practices’
      • ‘It was something so old fashioned as to be almost antique.’
      • ‘Unimpeded by antique censorship codes or outdated moral guidelines, they lent a painful emotional truth and sometimes savage sexual energy to characters who lived on the edge.’
      • ‘History runs a perpetual sprint in New York; 6 months' passage makes the most vivid episodes seem quaint and antique.’
      • ‘It's very pretty… looks somewhat antique and old-fashioned.’
      • ‘The Sonoma Hotel is very quaint with its antique furnishings and cozy atmosphere.’
      • ‘Medieval Turnovo's antique houses and narrow cobbled streets are perched on a large rockface that places it among one of the most beautiful cities not only in the Balkans but in all of Europe.’
      • ‘The Post Office Room features a collection of antique telephones including old-fashioned manual exchanges.’
      • ‘He talks of my ‘monomaniac fancy that there is nothing quaint or antique in Homer.’’
      • ‘Maybe the inhabitants can't see it, but there is a freshness and antique aura of the quaint little shops and farms that is breathtaking and endearing.’
      • ‘Already that observation is antique; it has been outdated by Napster and iPod, TiVo and digital TV.’
      out of date, outdated, outmoded, old-fashioned, archaic, antiquated, anachronistic, ancient, antediluvian, superannuated, outworn, behind the times, primitive, medieval, quaint, old-fangled, obsolescent, obsolete, prehistoric
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    2. 2.2humorous Showing signs of great age or wear.
      ‘the kitchen had an antique cooker’
      • ‘Thirty is still young, however antique it may look to 17.’
      • ‘Pinako’s teeth were gritted, biting her pipe, and her frown was making even more wrinkles appear on her antique face.’
      • ‘Normally, Katulo was in the midst of any celebration pushing his antique body to the limit by asking pretty young girls to dance.’
      • ‘Even though his vision could have easily been corrected he preferred to wear an antique pair of glasses.’
      • ‘Musetta, looking like an overdressed silent-movie vamp, drives up with her ancient admirer in a sputtering antique automobile.’


  • Make (something) resemble an antique by artificial means.

    ‘sanding will change the lustre of the sanded spot, especially if the finish has been antiqued’
    • ‘The metallic surface has been stamped and antiqued using inks.’
    • ‘Or should I prime, then lightly sand and then antique it after each coat of paint I do?’
    • ‘Finishing can be achieved in a variety of ways from antiquing and custom painting to the use of a simple hand-rubbed oil on bare wood.’
    • ‘This step is important because, if you crack the plaster and then antique it using the reinkers, the ink will seep into your entire image making it too dark.’
    • ‘Bronze, pewter and antiqued gold are all in the fashion frame, too, and will come over as breathtakingly sophisticated at any age.’
    • ‘Oh and the inside is completely antiqued except for Rob's room, my room and my dad's big screen TV smack in the middle of my mom's ‘foyer’.’
    • ‘To create the crumpled paper, antique the paper with the ink pads, crinkle it up, smooth it out and then dip it into a mixture of white glue and water.’
    • ‘The watery theme continues with multi-colored shells in blue and green hues on the ceiling and windowed walls covered in a mirror material that's been antiqued to somewhat successfully resemble seawater.’
    • ‘Since many of us like things that look antiqued, paint can be an inexpensive ally.’
    • ‘I introduced a variety of glazing techniques including light washes, layering, blending, blotting, spraying and antiquing.’
    • ‘Chen snapped his head toward the window and his once antiqued vase and knew that someone was there.’
    • ‘However rather than refinish this revolver, the newly installed barrel, cylinder, and ejector tube have been antiqued to match the original parts.’
    • ‘I then used a wet tea bag to antique the white edges and after allowing the print to dry I repeated the process in different areas to vary the color.’
    • ‘Sanding will change the luster of the sanded spot, especially if the finish has been antiqued.’
    • ‘I got her some letterpress stationery and I bought a reproduction campaign writing lap desk, and antiqued it, and carved her name in the lid.’
    • ‘Disposing of the mountain of silver as antiqued creations had to be a slow and careful business.’
    • ‘From chalking, antiquing, crimping, trimming, inking, and even shadowing, her ideas are sure to inspire hours of stamping creativity.’
    • ‘This latter is an antiqued finish that looks for all the world like a well used 19th century original with tales to tell.’
    • ‘You can antique the other way around, but remember a light base coat needs a darker glaze, whereas a dark base coat should use a light glaze.’
    • ‘One antiqued gray-green shape suggests a Japanese stone lantern, while its surface mimes an aerial view of a meandering river.’


Late 15th century (as an adjective): from Latin antiquus, anticus former, ancient, from ante before.