From Middle French ancien, from Old French ancien, from a Vulgar Latin root *anteanus or *antianu, from Latin ante. As the word does not completely conform to the expected phonetic evolution, it may have been semi-learned and used initially by clerics who were aware of the Vulgar Latin word (which does not appear until the (Old) French one does). See also the related Old and Middle French ains.
- (before a noun) old, former, ex-:
- Mon ancien petit ami m'a plaquée.
- My ex-boyfriend ditched me.
- (after a noun) ancient
- le grec ancien
- the Ancient Greek language
- When ancien comes before the noun it modifies, it means old, former or ex-; after, it means ancient.
- “ancien” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- French: ancien
From a Vulgar Latin root *anteanus or *antianu, from Latin ante. Considering the preserved intermediate consonant -t- and such not lost during sound changes, possibly a semi-learned word originally used by clerics. See also the related ains, ainz.
ancien m (oblique and nominative feminine singular anciene)