Atavisms

atavism

[at-uh-viz-uhm]
noun
1.
Biology.
a.
the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
b.
an individual embodying such a reversion.
2.
reversion to an earlier type; throwback.

Origin:
1825–35; < Latin atav(us) remote ancestor (at-, akin to atta familiar name for a grandfather + avus grandfather, forefather) + -ism

atavist, noun
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World English Dictionary
atavism (ˈætəˌvɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the recurrence in a plant or animal of certain primitive characteristics that were present in an ancestor but have not occurred in intermediate generations
2.  reversion to a former or more primitive type
 
[C19: from French atavisme, from Latin atavus strictly: great-grandfather's grandfather, probably from atta daddy + avus grandfather]
 
'atavist
 
n
 
atavic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

atavism
1833, from F. atavisme, coined 1830s from L. atavus "ancestor," from at- perhaps here meaning "beyond" + avus "grandfather," from PIE *awo- "adult male relative other than the father" (see uncle). Related: Atavistic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

atavism at·a·vism (āt'ə-vĭz'əm)
n.
The appearance of characteristics that are presumed to have been present in some remote ancestor; reversion to an earlier biological type.


at'a·vist n.
at'a·vis'tic adj.
at'a·vis'ti·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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