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Ancient, adj., 1) having happened or existed in former times, and now no more in existence: “the a. Roman honour,” Merch. III, 2, 297. “derived from the a. Capilet,” All's V, 3, 159. “knowledge in the a. wars,” H5 III, 2, 83. “a. writers,” H4A II, 4, 455. “a. ravens' wings,” Lucr. 949.
2) having come down from a time far remote, of long standing: “the a. privilege of Athens,” Mids. I, 1, 41. “the a. saying,” Merch. II, 9, 82. “proverb,” H6B III, 1, 170. “tradition,” H5 V, 1, 74. “a. feast,” Rom. I, 2, 87 (cf. 20: an old accustomed feast). “gentry,” H6A II, 4, 93. “gentlemen,” Hml. V, 1, 33. “right,” R3 III, 1, 92. “an a. watchman,” Ado III, 3, 41. “servant,” Shr. I, 2, 47. “a. word of courage,” R3 V, 3, 349. “tale,” John IV, 2, 18. “receptacle,” Rom. IV, 3, 39. “city,” H6B I, 1, 5. “castle,” R2 III, 3, 32. “stones,” R3 IV, 1, 99. “my a. skill,” Meas. IV, 2, 164. “sorrow,” R3 IV, 4, 35. Hence == inveterate: “a. grudge,” Merch. I, 3, 48. “quarrels,” R2 II, 1, 248. Rom. I, 1, 111. “bickerings,” H6B I, 1, 144. “malice,” R2 I, 1, 9. Cor. II, 1, 244. IV, 5, 102. “envy,” IV, 5, 109. “grudge,” IV, 5, 109. “his a. knot of dangerous adversaries,” R3 III, 1, 182. On the other hand: “a. love,” Mids. III, 2, 215. Lr. IV, 1, 45. “amities,” I, 2, 159. Superl.: “ere ancient'st order was,” Wint. IV, 1, 10. -- “The a. of war,” Lr. V, 1, 32 (corr.<*>.
3) former: “call home thy a. thoughts from banishment,” Shr. Ind. 2, 33. “my a. incantations are too weak,” H6A V, 3, 27. “new lamenting a. oversights,” H4B II, 3, 47. “recovered your a. freedom,” H6B IV, 8, 27. “where is your a. courage?” Cor. IV, 1, 3.
4) advanced in years, old: “this a. morsel,” Tp. II, 1, 286. “a very a. smell,” II, 2, 27. “angel,” Shr. IV, 2, 61. “gentleman,” V, 1, 75. Wint. IV, 4, 79. Wint. IV, 4, 79 H4A III, 2, 104. H4B II, 4, 91. Tit. III, 1, 17. Rom. I, 1, 99. II, 3, 74. 4, 150. III, 5, 235. Lr. II, 2, 67. Cymb. V, 3, 15.
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