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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Originally this symbolic seat of power contained holy relics.
▪ Gripping the key in his pocket as if it were a holy relic, he took his first step into the world.
▪ To me there is no such thing as a holy relic or place.
▪ Much later, the perehera was adopted by the Buddhists to display their most sacred relic.
▪ They were thus especially suitable to guard sacred relics and great sanctuaries.
▪ Inside the fortress is an interesting old church containing Moorish relics.
▪ In addition to their wild natural beauty, the moors contain interesting ancient relics and sites that are well worth investigating.
▪ It contains some interesting relics, including the door of the condemned cell from the old Calton jail.
▪ In the church a carved stone shrine was erected to contain the saint's relics.
▪ It contained relics, and when melted down in the twelfth century yielded 500 marks of silver and thirty of gold.
▪ The round tower looking uncommonly like a lighthouse or a telescope, contains relics of the hero of Trafalgar.
▪ Civil War relics
▪ the sacred relics of John the Baptist
▪ The town is a relic from California's gold rush.
▪ The treaty is now a Cold War relic.
▪ Voters passed a bill to remove a law that is a relic of the state's racist past.
▪ He received it as if it were a precious relic a saint had just blessed, and folded it carefully.
▪ It was true he had grown out of it now, but it was the beloved relic of his youth.
▪ Like so many villages in the Mani, Vátheia is a ghostly relic.
▪ Once viewed as a relic, continental drift and seafloor spreading evolved into the modern concept of plate tectonics.
▪ The relic reposes in a glass-fronted reliquary beneath a side altar of the same church in which it was first interred.
▪ The relic was found in exactly the place indicated.
▪ The latter's relics rest on the main altar.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Relic \Rel"ic\ (r?l"?k), n. [F. relique, from L. reliquiae, pl., akin to relinquere to leave behind. See Relinquish.]

  1. That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion; a remnant.
    --Chaucer. Wyclif.

    The relics of lost innocence.

    The fragments, scraps, the bits and greasy relics.

  2. The body from which the soul has departed; a corpse; especially, the body, or some part of the body, of a deceased saint or martyr; -- usually in the plural when referring to the whole body.

    There are very few treasuries of relics in Italy that have not a tooth or a bone of this saint.

    Thy relics, Rowe, to this fair urn we trust, And sacred place by Dryden's awful dust.

  3. Hence, a memorial; anything preserved in remembrance; as, relics of youthful days or friendships.

    The pearls were spilt; Some lost, some stolen, some as relics kept.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., "body part or other object from a holy person," from Old French relique (11c., plural reliques), from Late Latin reliquiæ (plural) "remains of a martyr," in classical Latin "remains, remnants," noun use of fem. plural of reliquus "remaining, that which remains," related to relinquere (perfective reliqui) "to leave behind" (see relinquish). Sense of "remains, ruins" is from early 14c. Old English used reliquias, directly from Latin.


n. 1 That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion. 2 Something old kept for sentimental reasons. 3 (context religion English) A part of the body of a saint, or an ancient religious object, kept for veneration.

  1. n. an antiquity that has survived from the distant past

  2. something of sentimental value [syn: keepsake, souvenir, token]


In religion, a relic usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions. Relic derives from the Latinreliquiae, meaning "remains," and a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to "leave behind, or abandon." A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics.

Relic (disambiguation)

A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance preserved as a tangible memorial.

Relic(s) or The Relic may also refer to:

Relic (novel)

Relic is a 1995 novel by American authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and the first in the Special Agent Pendergast series. As a techno-thriller, it comments on the possibilities inherent in genetic manipulation, and is critical of museums and their role both in society and in the scientific community. It is the basis of the film The Relic (1997).

Relic (Dungeons & Dragons)

The relic is a class of magic item created for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The first relic appeared in the original Greyhawk supplement III (Eldritch Wizardry (1976) written by Gary Gygax and Brian Blume and has since then became one of the most feared and sought item of the Dungeons & Dragons game.

A relic is a very old and holy magic item of tremendous power.

The term 'relic' has sometimes been used to refer to artifact in one or another edition of the game.

Usage examples of "relic".

He feels the fear begin to accrete, seamlessly, senselessly, with absolute conviction, around this carnival ghost, the Cadillac, this oil-burning relic in its spectral robe of smudged mosaic silver.

Now it is quite clear--though you have perhaps never thought of it--that if the next generation of Englishmen consisted wholly of Julius Caesars, all our political, ecclesiastical, and moral institutions would vanish, and the less perishable of their appurtenances be classed with Stonehenge and the cromlechs and round towers as inexplicable relics of a bygone social order.

She was peculiarly assiduous in exhibiting the relics with which this, like all other celebrated shrines, abounds.

One hundred years before the birth of Christ, a philosophical treatise, which manifestly betrays the style and sentiments of the school of Plato, was produced by the Alexandrian Jews, and unanimously received as a genuine and valuable relic of the inspired Wisdom of Solomon.

Many of them were pure gibberish, but there was some quite lovely liturgical story-telling scattered throughout, the relic, Jame believed, of an older ritual.

The Grand Maistre carefully placed the relic in a cedarwood box and locked the box with a gilded key from a chain around his neck.

Holy Orders than a boy of thirteen: a richly illuminated Book of Hours, a rosewood and silver crucifix worthy of a cathedral chapel, a relic of the martyred Saint Willim sealed in a crystal reliquary, and from Hubert, a starkly functional silver chalice and paten and a chasuble of creamy wool, surprisingly plain compared to the other gifts.

These cases are very different from that of the so-called Shroud of Turin, which shows something too close to a human form to be a misapprehended natural pattern and which is now suggested by carbon-14 dating to be not the death shroud of Jesus, but a pious hoax from the fourteenth century - a time when the manufacture of fraudulent religious relics was a thriving and profitable home handicraft industry.

England, then it would seem that he had fled from it at the full speed of his monoplane, but had been overtaken and devoured by these horrible creatures at some spot in the outer atmosphere above the place where the grim relics were found.

Crenshinibon had imparted the information to the wizard, the living relic anticipating the movements of the powerful creature from the lower planes that had been persuing it for ages uncounted.

If, however, the change is within the range of what the relic might predictably undergo himself, continuity of individuality is presumed.

Being afraid of a Danish invasion, and thinking that the relics of the protomartyr, which had already been once carried away to Denmark, would not be safe in the shrine as it stood, he hid them under the altar of St.

But instead of pursuing his expedition by land, he was rejoiced to shelter the relics of his army in the friendly seaport of Satalia.

In conclusion, it may be said that the present volume contains many precious relics of the Bewick, Newbury, Goldsmith, Newcastle York, Banbury, Coventry, and Catnach presses, and a representative collection of the stock of workable woodcuts of a provincial printer in the latter part of the 18th century, and to those who would like to inspect the rentable copies of those valuable and interesting little books, and some of the original Horn Books, etc.

His authority would alone be sufficient to annihilate that formidable army of martyrs, whose relics, drawn for the most part from the catacombs of Rome, have replenished so many churches, and whose marvellous achievements have been the subject of so many volumes of Holy Romance.