1 dating from very long ago
3 of the far past, esp. before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (476 a.d.)
4 (Law) having existed since before the time of legal memory
5 often pl a member of a civilized nation in the ancient world, esp. a Greek, Roman, or Hebrew
6 often pl one of the classical authors of Greek or Roman antiquity
7 Archaic an old man
(C14: from Old French ancien, from Vulgar Latin anteanus (unattested), from Latin ante before)
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"