1. Archaisms are words and phrases that have fallen out of general use but are used for special effect, normally in literature. These vary in effect from the gently old-fashioned or jocular (e.g. erstwhile, gentlewoman, goodly, hence, lest, methinks, perchance, quoth) to the unnatural or even unusable (e.g. peradventure, whilom).
2. Archaisms are most commonly found in allusive use in literature, e.g.

• If Mimi's cup runneth over, it runneth over with decency rather than with anything more vital —Anita Brookner, 1985

(an Old Testament allusion to Psalms 23:5)

• The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together —Iris Murdoch, 1987

(a New Testament allusion to Romans 8:22). Archaic word forms also occur in titles, as in The Compleat Girl (by Mary McCarthy, 1963, in allusion to Isaak Walton's The Compleat Angler), Whitaker's Almanack (which preserves an older spelling of almanac), and in fixed expressions such as olde worlde and many new formations modelled on a-changing, e.g. a-basking, a-brewing, a-wasting.
3. See also the separate entries for albeit, nay, unbeknown.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • Archaism — Ar cha*ism, n. [Gr. archai:smo s, fr. archai^os ancient, fr. archh beginning: cf. F. archa[ i]sme. See {Arch}, a.] 1. An ancient, antiquated, or old fashioned, word, expression, or idiom; a word or form of speech no longer in common use. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archaism — index desuetude, disuse Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • archaism — (n.) 1640s, retention of what is old and obsolete, from Mod.L. archaismus, from Gk. arkhaismos, from arkhaizein to copy the ancients (in language, etc.); see ARCHAIC (Cf. archaic). Meaning an archaic word or expression is from c.1748 …   Etymology dictionary

  • archaism — ► NOUN 1) the use of archaic features in language or art. 2) an archaic word or style …   English terms dictionary

  • archaism — [är′kā iz΄əm, är′kēiz΄əm] n. [ModL archaismus < Fr archaisme < Gr archaismos < archaios, old] 1. the use or imitation of archaic words, technique, etc. 2. an archaic word, usage, style, practice, etc. archaist n. archaistic [är΄kāis′tik …   English World dictionary

  • Archaism — In language, an archaism (from the Greek: ἀρχαϊκός, archaïkós, old fashioned, antiquated , ultimately ἀρχαῖος, archaîos, from the beginning, ancient ) is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done… …   Wikipedia

  • archaism — archaist, n. archaistic, adj. /ahr kee iz euhm, kay /, n. 1. something archaic, as a word or expression. 2. the use of what is archaic, as in literature or art: The archaism of the novelist s style provided a sense of the period. 3. the survival… …   Universalium

  • archaism — UK [ˈɑː(r)keɪˌɪz(ə)m] / US [ˈɑrkɪˌɪzəm] noun [countable] Word forms archaism : singular archaism plural archaisms an old word or phrase that is no longer used …   English dictionary

  • archaism — noun Etymology: New Latin archaïsmus, from Greek archaïsmos, from archaios Date: 1643 1. the use of archaic diction or style 2. an instance of archaic usage 3. something archaic; especially something (as a practice …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • archaism — См. arcaismo …   Пятиязычный словарь лингвистических терминов

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