Definition for AN'CIENT

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.

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