Dictionary: AN'CIENT – AN'DRE-O-LITE

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AN'CIENT, a. [Fr. ancien; It. anziano, anzi; from L. ante, antiquus.]

  1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; as, ancient authors, ancient days. Old, says Johnson, relates to the duration of the thing itself, as an old coat; and ancient, to time in general, as an ancient dress. But this distinction is not always observed. We say, in old times, as well as ancient times; old customs, &c. We usually apply both ancient and old to things subject to gradual decay. We say an old man, an ancient record; but never the old sun, old stars, an old river or mountain. In general, however, ancient is opposed to modern, and old to new, fresh, or recent. When we speak of a thing that existed formerly, which has ceased to exist, we commonly use ancient, as ancient republics, ancient heroes, and not old republics, old heroes. But when the thing which began or existed in former times, is still in existence, we use either ancient or old; as, ancient statues or paintings, or old statues or paintings; ancient authors, or old authors, meaning books. But in these examples ancient seems the most correct, or best authorized. Some persons apply ancient to men advanced in years still living; now this use is not common in modern practice.
  2. Old; that has been of long duration; as, an ancient forest; an ancient city.
  3. Known from ancient times; as, the ancient continent, opposed to the new continent. – Robertson.

AN'CIENT, n. [Supra.]

  1. Generally used in the plural, ancients. Those who lived in former ages, opposed to moderns. In Scripture, very old men. Also, governors, rulers, political and ecclesiastical. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people. – Isa. iii. Jer. xix. God is called "the Ancient of days" from his eternal existence. – Dan. vii. Hooker uses the word for seniors, "they were his ancients," but the use is not authorized.
  2. Ancient is also used for a flag or streamer, in a ship of war; and for an ensign or the bearer of a flag, as in Shakspeare. Cowel supposes the word, when used for a flag, to be a corruption of end-sheet, a flag at the stern. It is probably the Fr. enseigne. – Johnson. Cowel. Encyc. Ancient demain, in English law, is a tenure by which all manors belonging to the crown, in the reign of William the Conqueror, were held. The numbers, names, &c. of these were all entered in a book called Domes-day Book. – Cowel. Blackstone.


In old times; in times long since past; as, Rome was anciently more populous than at present.


The state of being ancient; antiquity; existence from old times.


Dignity of birth; the honor of ancient lineage. – Spenser on Ireland. Shak.


Age; antiquity. [Not in use.] – Martin.


In some old English statutes and authors, eldership or seniority. 14 Hen. III.


Aiding; auxiliary. – Blackstone.

AN'CIL-LA-RY, n. [L. ancilla, a female servant.]

Pertaining to a maid servant, or female service; subservient as a maid servant. – Blackstone.

AN-CIP'I-TAL, a. [L. anceps.]

Doubtful, or double; double-faced or double-formed; applied to the stem of a plant, it signifies a two-edged stem, compressed and forming two opposite angles. – Barton's Elem. of Botany. Lee.


A small ulcerous swelling coming suddenly. – Boucher.

AN'CON, n. [L. ancon; Gr. αγκων, the elbow.]

The olecranon, the upper end of the ulna, or elbow. – Coxe.

AN'CONE, n. [L. ancon; Gr. αγκων.]

In architecture, the corner of a wall, cross-beam or rafter. – Encyc.

AN'CO-NY, n. [Probably from αγκων, the cubit, from its resemblance to the arm.]

In iron works, a piece of half wrought iron, in the shape of a bar in the middle, but rude and unwrought at the ends. A piece of cast iron is melted off and hammered at a forge, into a mass of two feet long and square, which is called a bloom; then, carried to a finery, and worked into an ancony; it is then sent to a chafery, where the ends are wrought into the shape of the middle, and the whole is made into a bar. – Encyc.

AND, conj. [Sax. and; Ger. und; D. ende or en; and.]

And is a conjunction, connective or conjoining word. It signifies that a word or part of a sentence is to be added to what precedes. Thus, give me an apple and an orange; that is, give me an apple, add or give in addition to that, an orange. John and Peter and James rode to New-York; that is, John rode to New-York, add or further Peter rode to New-York, add James rode to New-York.


A massive mineral, of a flesh or rose red color; sometimes found crystalized in imperfect four sided prisms, nearly or quite rectangular. Its hardness nearly equal to that of corundum, and it is infusible by the blow-pipe. It has its name from Andalusia, in Spain, when it was first discovered. – Werner. Brongniart.

AN-DAN'TE, [It. from andare, to go; Eng. to wend, to wander.]

In music, a word used to direct to a movement moderately slow, between largo and allegro. – Encyc.


Red orpiment. – Coxe.

AN'DE-AN, a.

Pertaining to the Andes, the great chain of mountains extending through South America. – Columbiad, 3, 138.

AN-DI'RA, n.

The name of the genus of plants which comprehends the cabbage bark-tree of Jamaica.


In South America, the popular name of a species of bat, the Vespertilio spectrum of Linnæus.

AND'I-RON, n. [Teutonic, andena, or andela. In Sax. the corresponding word is brandisen, brand or fire iron; D. brand-yzer. The Fr. landier, Arm. lander, Junius thinks, is our and-iron, with the French l prefixed.]

An iron utensil used in Great Britain, where coal is the common fuel, to support the ends of a spit; but in America, used to support the wood in fire-places.


The Brazilian swallow. – Dict. of Nat. Hist.

AN-DRA-NAT'O-MY, n. [Gr. ανηρ, ανδρος, a man, and ανατομη, dissection.]

The dissection of a human body, especially of a male. – Coxe. Quincy.


A mineral, the harmotome, or cross-stone. – Ure.