Meaning of RELIC in English


ˈrelik, -lēk noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English relik, from Old French relique, from Medieval Latin reliquia, back-formation from Late Latin reliquiae, plural, remains of a martyr, from Latin, remains, leavings, remains of a deceased person, from relinquere to leave behind — more at relinquish


a. : an object (as a bone, an article of clothing or of personal use) kept in esteem and veneration because of its association with a saint or martyr

b. : something that serves as a remembrance of a person, place, or event : souvenir , memento

snapshots and other relics of her youth

2. relics plural : remains, corpse

sacred earth where his dear relics lie — William Wordsworth

3. : something that is left behind after decay, disintegration, or disappearance (as of a structure, a race, a nation) : a surviving ruin or specimen or remnant

relics of ancient cities

the chimney … may be a relic of the earlier building — American Guide Series: Connecticut

residual landforms many of which are capped by isolated relics of once continuous dolerite sills — Arthur Holmes

4. : a trace of some past or outmoded practice, custom, or belief : survival , vestige

the prison … is an anachronistic relic of medieval concepts of crime and punishment — R.S.Banay

5. : relict 4

6. : relict 5

7. : a term, form, or pronunciation once common over a wide area but now occurring only in a usually isolated place

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.