Definition of antic in US English:



  • Grotesque or bizarre.

    • ‘This comic novel, though antic rather than earnest, very different in style and tone from Naipaul, is serious about race, social class, immigrants, and outsiders.’
    • ‘Alas, not many of them are left, not those with the full-willed ambition to be crazy and to create inspired antic diversions to the newsroom norm.’
    • ‘According to Karine, the choreography ‘pays homage to the antic Greek theatre which is a world of pure poetry and drama’.’
    • ‘There is an antic undercurrent to his straight-faced pictures, as if, after staring at the sheer actuality of what was laid out before him, he might have burst out laughing before making the picture.’
    • ‘The performers were antic and wild, in a time when wildness had not been encouraged.’
    • ‘Not many creators would dare to juxtapose the kind of heady subject matter this show tosses at the wall with totally antic physical comedy.’
    • ‘In an age where the brilliance of modern technology arguably masks the crumbling of Western high culture, it is mere antic passing fashions and facades and socially condoned tackiness which take the place of serious citizenship.’
    • ‘‘Rapper's Delight’ is played again, the punks doing an antic dance, pogoing on the couch, playing at break dancing, striking poses.’
    • ‘This non-authoritarian, non-conformist, antic, changeable character, or community of characters, keeps coming up throughout human history.’
    • ‘What a hard, brave conclusion; what an antic disposition in making it.’
    • ‘This poem is a moment of antic genius in an otherwise rather solemn book.’
    • ‘While I found it to be full of antic spirit and coarse entertainment, she just couldn't get into it.’
    • ‘The plot is simple, and takes a back seat to the antic details.’
    • ‘The director moved her sometimes space-challenged charges skillfully, eliciting overall an antic tone that brought a kind of unity to the often frenzied goings-on.’
    • ‘My dad stuck his head in the doorway and smiled his antic smile. I looked into my mother's eyes and saw the same intense look of pity that Miss Judy had lavished upon me at the Muscular Dystrophy Carnival.’
    • ‘Their sparse details and antic distortions are surreal yet recognizable enough to hit the target, whether it's a powerful politician or a basic human type.’
    • ‘But the antic nature of these taunts doesn't mean they won't be effective.’
    • ‘Saturated in colour and music, it's peopled by luminous stars and antic buffoons, by villains and vamps, heroes and incarnations of gods.’
    • ‘If you collect clown paraphernalia, are you an antic collector?’
    • ‘Incidentally, one of the responses I've been getting to the book is that a lot of people think it's very funny, and some people see it as a series of antic actions and antic behavior that really amuses some people and makes them laugh.’
    practical joke, trick, mischievous act, piece of mischief, joke, escapade, stunt, caper, jape, game, hoax, antic
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Early 16th century: from Italian antico ‘antique’, used to mean ‘grotesque’.