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[rel-ikt] /ˈrɛl ɪkt/
Ecology. a species or community living in an environment that has changed from that which is typical for it.
a remnant or survivor.
a widow.
Origin of relict
1525-35; < Medieval Latin relicta widow, noun use of feminine of Latin relictus, past participle of relinquere to relinquish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relict
  • Dark matter can be understood as the relict of light.
  • It's a relict of the earliest chapters of life, over three billion years ago.
  • The redox pattern is a relict feature and not considered indicative of present drainage conditions.
  • relict features are commonly distinguished in the field by having sharp, distinct boundaries.
British Dictionary definitions for relict


  1. a group of animals or plants that exists as a remnant of a formerly widely distributed group in an environment different from that in which it originated
  2. (as modifier): a relict fauna
  1. a mountain, lake, glacier, etc, that is a remnant of a pre-existing formation after a destructive process has occurred
  2. a mineral that remains unaltered after metamorphism of the rock in which it occurs
an archaic word for widow (sense 1)
an archaic word for relic (sense 6)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin relictus left behind, from relinquere to relinquish
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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Word Origin and History for relict

"a widow," mid-15c., from Old French relict, fem. relicte "person or thing left behind" (especially a widow) and directly from Medieval Latin relicta "a widow," noun use of fem. of relictus "abandoned, left behind," past participle adjective from Latin relinquere "to leave behind" (see relinquish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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relict in Medicine

relict rel·ict (rěl'ĭkt, rĭ-lĭkt')
Something that has survived; a remnant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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