• Belonging to a period other than that being portrayed.
  • Belonging or appropriate to an earlier period, especially so as to seem conspicuously old-fashioned.

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Example Sentences

“I like historical fiction, but as soon as I read anachronistic slang, I can’t continue.”

“It was a bit anachronistic, but she preferred to dress in vintage skirts and sweaters.”

“The director hired a historian to make sure they didn’t make any anachronistic mistakes in staging the WWII drama.”

Word Origin

Greek, late 18th century

Why this word?

From the Greek “ana” (“backward”) and “khronos” (“time”), this adjective describes things that are out of place in time. It commonly applies to elements in works of art — but it could be accidental or on purpose. A careless writer might describe a style of weaponry that wasn’t invented until the 1900s as he’s penning a Revolutionary War epic. However, a painter could drop in elements of modern technology in a portrait of a classical figure as an anachronistic political statement. Anachronisms might carry a message, or they could be interesting challenges for careful observers to spot.

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