(noun, adjective)


1. so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

- archaic laws

Similar word(s): old, antediluvian, antiquated

2. little evolved from or characteristic of an earlier ancestral type

- archaic forms of life

Similar word(s): early, primitive


1. (archaeology, US, usually capitalized) A general term for the prehistoric period intermediate between the earliest period (‘Paleo-Indian’, ‘Paleo-American’, ‘American‐paleolithic’, &c.) of human presence in the Western Hemisphere, and the most recent prehistoric period (‘Woodland’, etc.).

2. (paleoanthropology) (A member of) an archaic variety of Homo sapiens.