• (British) IPA: /ɑː.ˈkeɪ.ɪk/
  • (America) IPA: /ɑɹ.ˈkeɪ.ɪk/

archaic (plural archaics)

  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.).
    • 1958, Wiley, Gordon R., and Philip Phillips, Method and Theory in American Archaeology, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, page #107:
      [...] Archaic Stage [...] the stage of migratory hunting and gathering cultures continuing into environmental conditions approximately those of the present.
  2. (paleoanthropology) (A member of) an archaic variety of Homo sapiens.
    • 2009, The Human Lineage, page 432:
      [...] prefer the third explanation for the advanced-looking features of Neandertals (Chapter 7) and the Ngandong hominins (Chapter 6), but they have had little to say about the post-Erectine archaics from China.


  1. Of or characterized by antiquity; old-fashioned, quaint, antiquated.
  2. (of words) No longer in ordinary use, though still used occasionally to give a sense of antiquity.
  3. (archaeology) Belonging to the archaic period
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