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anachronism

a·nach·ro·nism / əˈnakrəˌnizəm/ • n. a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned: everything was as it would have appeared in centuries past apart from one anachronism, a bright yellow construction crane. ∎  an act of attributing a custom, event, or object to a period to which it does not belong. DERIVATIVES: a·nach·ro·nis·tic / əˌnakrəˈnistik/ adj. a·nach·ro·nis·ti·cal·ly / -ˈnistik(ə)lē/ adv.

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ANACHRONISM

ANACHRONISM. [Stress: ‘a-NA-kronizm’.] In RHETORIC, the appearance of a person or thing in the wrong epoch, such as the clock in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Linguistic anachronisms are generally a matter of awareness, context, and expectation: for example, the archaism wight (person, man) may be appropriate at a seminar on the Elizabethan poet Spenser, but is incongruous and probably unintelligible elsewhere. Similarly, a character in a period novel who says OK long before the phrase was current rings false for anyone who knows (or senses) that its time is out of joint. Compare ARCHAISM.

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anachronism

anachronism XVII. — F. anachronisme or Gr. anakhronismós, f. aná back + khrónos time; see CHRONIC, -ISM.

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