3. Former times; yore: in days of old.
Synonyms: old , ancient 1 , archaic , antediluvian , antique , antiquated
These adjectives describe what belongs to or dates from an earlier time or period. Old is the most general term: old lace; an old saying.
Ancient pertains to the distant past: "the hills, / Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun" (William Cullen Bryant).
Archaic implies a very remote, often primitive period: an archaic Greek bronze of the seventh century bc .
Antediluvian applies to what is extremely outdated: "I. went out to reconnoiter a fresh typewriter ribbon for Professor Mitwisser's antediluvian machine" (Cynthia Ozick).
Antique is applied to what is especially appreciated or valued because of its age: antique furniture; an antique vase.
Antiquated describes what is out of date, no longer fashionable, or discredited: "No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday
be antiquated" (Ellen Glasgow).
Usage Note: Old, when applied to people, is a blunt term that usually suggests at least a degree of physical infirmity and age-related restrictions. It should be used advisedly, especially in referring to people advanced in years but leading active lives. · As a comparative form, older might logically seem to indicate greater age than old, but in most cases the opposite is true. A phrase such as the older woman in the wool jacket suggests a somewhat younger person than if old is substituted. Where old expresses an absolute, an arrival at old age, older takes a more relative view of aging as a continuum—older, but not yet old. As such, older is not just a euphemism for the blunter old but rather a more precise term for someone between middle and advanced age. And unlike elderly, older does not particularly suggest frailness or infirmity, making it the natural choice in many situations. See Usage Note at elder 1 .