Anachronistic

“Although the typewriter was a groundbreaking invention in 1843, its appearance in a modern lecture hall is blatantly anachronistic.”

As used in the sentence above, what is the best definition of anachronistic?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Out of place for the time in which it appears
Choice B - Very simplistic and defective technologically
Choice C - Loud and distracting, as when it appears in class
Choice D - Embarrassing to the person using it

Definition:

Anachronistic (adjective) – old-fashioned or out-of-date; or, blatantly clashing with the  time in which it occurs, i.e., chronologically misplaced

Anachronism (noun) – old-fashioned or out-of-date; or, something that is out of place in time

GRE pro tips:

Knowing the roots of anachronistic helps shed light on its meaning. The Greek root chron means “time;” some words containing chron include chronological (in the sequence of time), or synchronized (happening at the same time). Considering that the Greek root ana means “against,” it makes sense that something that is anachronistic goes against the times or is out of place with the time in which it occurs.

For example, if you walked into a classroom today and saw a student banging away on an old-school typewriter, you’d take notice—the sight is out of place in time, or anachronistic. Similarly, if a movie were set during the 1950s, it would be anachronistic to see a character using a laptop. The term can also be used more broadly to describe anything that is old-fashioned or antique—whether it’s a top hat, a rotary-dial phone, or a grandfather clock—it’s anachronistic.

Example sentences:

“The guns used in the film were frankly anachronistic. The film was set in the early 1800’s and the modern machine gun didn’t appear until 1862.”

“Some companies attempt to rebrand their image by abbreviating their anachronistic slogans — or dumping them entirely.”

“Today, the idea of the home-making housewife is an anachronism.”