ancient


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ancient history

slang Something that is very outdated or totally forgotten (often in favor of a more recent development). Oh, Jack is ancient history, we broke up weeks ago! Her interest in photography is ancient history now that she's started doing yoga.
See also: ancient, history

(as) ancient as the hills

humorous Very old. Oh, she's ancient as the hills, she can't hear us. Why don't we ever sing new songs? Those hymns are as ancient as the hills.
See also: ancient, hill

the Ancient of Days

A name for the Christian God, as used in Daniel 7:9 in the Bible. So many people get lost in the consumer frenzy of Christmas that they forget to celebrate it as the moment when the Ancient of Days came to Earth in human form.
See also: ancient, days, of

ancient history

Fig. someone or something from so long ago as to be completely forgotten or no longer important, as a former relationship. Bob? I never think about Bob anymore. He's ancient history. His interest in joining the army is now ancient history.
See also: ancient, history

ancient history

A past event, as in She's talking about her sea voyage, but that's ancient history, or And then there was his divorce, but you don't want to hear ancient history. This hyperbolic idiom transfers the field of ancient history to a much-repeated tale.
See also: ancient, history

the ancient of Days

a biblical title for God, taken from Daniel 7:9.
See also: ancient, days, of

ancient (or old) as the hills

of very long standing or very great age.
Hills are used in the Bible as a metaphor for permanence.
See also: ancient, hill

ancient history

n. someone or something completely forgotten, especially past romances. (see also history.) That business about joining the army is ancient history.
See also: ancient, history
References in classic literature ?
There was no further conversation from the ancient, and though he lived long years after, he never mentioned the midnight passenger in the canoe who carried Michael away with him.
In this the ancient was in nowise unlike the rest of his dark- skinned Melanesian race.
At last, away in the middle of the day, ancient bite of wall and crumbling arches began to line the way--we toiled up one more hill, and every pilgrim and every sinner swung his hat on high
Just after noon we entered these narrow, crooked streets, by the ancient and the famed Damascus Gate, and now for several hours I have been trying to comprehend that I am actually in the illustrious old city where Solomon dwelt, where Abraham held converse with the Deity, and where walls still stand that witnessed the spectacle of the Crucifixion.
If history had retained the conception of the ancients it would have said that God, to reward or punish his people, gave Napoleon power and directed his will to the fulfillment of the divine ends, and that reply, would have been clear and complete.
Science does not admit the conception of the ancients as to the direct participation of the Deity in human affairs, and therefore history ought to give other answers.
He who is acquainted with the distribution of existing species over the globe, will not attempt to account for the close resemblance of the distinct species in closely consecutive formations, by the physical conditions of the ancient areas having remained nearly the same.
Agassiz insists that ancient animals resemble to a certain extent the embryos of recent animals of the same classes; or that the geological succession of extinct forms is in some degree parallel to the embryological development of recent forms.
There's a part of the United States of North America that used to be known to the ancients as New England," he replied.
Professor Beecher, young and foolish, would not consent to delve into the riches of the ancient city, being too much chagrined over the loss of the idol.
It was true that Professor Beecher had tentatively engaged Jacinto, and had sent word to him to keep other explorers away from the vicinity of the ancient city if possible; but Jacinto, who did not return Professor Bumper's money, as he had promised, had acted treacherously in order to enrich himself.
Yet Horace Walpole wrote a goblin tale which has thrilled through many a bosom; and George Ellis could transfer all the playful fascination of a humour, as delightful as it was uncommon, into his Abridgement of the Ancient Metrical Romances.
In point of justice, therefore, to the multitudes who will, I trust, devour this book with avidity, I have so far explained our ancient manners in modern language, and so far detailed the characters and sentiments of my persons, that the modern reader will not find himself, I should hope, much trammelled by the repulsive dryness of mere antiquity.
According to my idea, we must see in this appellation of the Red Sea a translation of the Hebrew word `Edom'; and if the ancients gave it that name, it was on account of the particular colour of its waters.
The deep deposit of dust which he had noticed upon the blocks as he had first removed them from the wall had convinced him that even if the present occupants of the ancient pile had knowledge of this hidden passage they had made no use of it for perhaps generations.