From Middle English, from Old French relique, from Latin reliquiae (“remains, relics”), from relinquō (“I leave behind, abandon, relinquish”), from re- + linquō (“I leave, quit, forsake, depart from”).
relic (plural relics)
- That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion.
- Something old kept for sentimental reasons.
- (religion) A part of the body of a saint, or an ancient religious object, kept for veneration.
By comparison with synonyms, relic emphasizes age, and to some degree value – a “relic of a lost civilization”.
- (that which remains): remnant, remainder, residue, lave
- (that which is regarded as ancient, rare, or sacred): halidom