"before Noah's flood," 1640s, from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + diluvium "a flood" (see deluge (n.)). Hence (humorously or disparagingly) "very antiquated" (1726). Coined by English physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682). As a noun meaning "person who lived before the Flood," from 1680s. Related: antediluvial (1823).
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