1. Usually antics.
    1. a playful trick or prank; caper.
    2. a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.
  2. Archaic.
    1. an actor in a grotesque or ridiculous presentation.
    2. a buffoon; clown.
  3. Obsolete.
    1. a grotesque theatrical presentation; ridiculous interlude.
    2. a grotesque or fantastic sculptured figure, as a gargoyle.


  1. ludicrous; funny.
  2. fantastic; odd; grotesque: an antic disposition.

verb (used without object), an·ticked, an·tick·ing.

  1. Obsolete. to perform antics; caper.

pl n

  1. absurd or grotesque acts or postures


  1. archaic an actor in a ludicrous or grotesque part; clown; buffoon


  1. archaic fantastic; grotesque

“ludicrous behavior,” 1520s; see antic.


1520s, “grotesque or comical gesture,” from Italian antico “antique,” from Latin antiquus “old” (see antique). Originally (like grotesque) a 16c. Italian word referring to the strange and fantastic representations on ancient murals unearthed around Rome (especially originally the Baths of Titus, rediscovered 16c.); later extended to “any bizarre thing or behavior,” in which sense it first arrived in English. As an adjective in English from 1580s, “grotesque, bizarre.”

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