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missing link

a hypothetical form of animal assumed to have constituted a connecting link between the anthropoid apes and humans, identified by some authorities as constituting the genus Australopithecus.
something lacking for the completion of a series or sequence.
Origin of missing link
1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for missing link
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Indirectly, Darwin taught, that the Negro closely approached the missing link between the savage beast and the human.

  • How, then, is the greater length of the plexus to be covered by a single "missing link?"

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • However, it's only a question of time until we do put our finger on the missing link.

    The Secret Wireless Lewis E. Theiss
  • I never told any mortal that I had “found the missing link!”

    The Clyde Mystery Andrew Lang
  • After puzzling over this dream, I came to the conclusion that the missing link was a verbal one.

    Illusions James Sully
British Dictionary definitions for missing link

missing link

(sometimes capitals) the missing link, a hypothetical extinct animal or animal group, formerly thought to be intermediate between the anthropoid apes and man
any missing section or part in an otherwise complete series
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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missing link in Culture

missing link definition

A supposed animal midway in evolution between apes and humans. The term is based on a misunderstanding about the theory of evolution, which does not state that humans are descended from apes, but rather maintains that both humans and apes descended from a common ancestor. Modern evolutionary scientists do not search for a “missing link.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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