From New Latin anachronismus, from Ancient Greek ἀναχρονισμός (anakhronismós), from ἀναχρονίζομαι (anakhronízomai, referring to the wrong time), from ἀνά (aná, up against) + χρονίζω (khronízō, spending time), from χρόνος (khrónos, time). Analyzable as ana- +‎ chrono- +‎ -ism



anachronism (countable and uncountable, plural anachronisms)

  1. A chronological mistake; the erroneous dating of an event, circumstance, or object. [from 17th c.]
  2. A person or thing which seems to belong to a different time or period of time. [from 19th c.]
    • 1956, Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, page 32:
      His movements, his clothes, everything about him, seemed slightly out of place in this assembly. He spoiled the pattern; like Alvin, he was an anachronism.
    • 1971, Ken Welsh, Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, revised and updated edition, London: Pan, published 1975, page 142:
      There exist in Europe a number of independent or semi-independent countries which are complete anachronisms, they are mini-countries which have little business existing in this hurly-burly century, but somehow they survive.

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