- The definition of a relic is something old that has survived.
An old tool from ancient times is an example of a relic.
This arrowhead is a relic from an ancient time.
- an object, custom, etc. that has survived, wholly or partially, from the past
- something that has historic interest because of its age and associations with the past, or that serves as a keepsake, or souvenir
- remaining fragments; surviving parts; ruins
- relict ()
- Eccles. the body or a body part of, or some object associated with, a saint, martyr, etc., kept and reverenced as a memorial, as in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches
Origin of relicMiddle English relike ; from Old French relique ; from Classical Latin reliquiae, plural , remains ; from relinquere: see relinquish
- Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture has disappeared: “Corporal punishment was a relic of barbarism” (Cyril Connolly).
- Something cherished for its age or historic interest.
- An object kept for its association with the past; a memento.
- An object of religious veneration, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of a saint.
- or relics A corpse; remains.
Origin of relicMiddle English relik, object of religious veneration, from Old French relique, from Late Latin reliquiae, sacred relics, from Latin, remains, from reliquus, remaining, from relinquere, relīqu-, to leave behind; see relinquish.
By comparison with synonyms, relic emphasizes age, and to some degree value – a “relic of a lost civilization”.