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[ve-stij-ee-uh l, -stij-uh l] /vɛˈstɪdʒ i əl, -ˈstɪdʒ əl/
of, relating to, or of the nature of a vestige:
a vestigial tail.
Origin of vestigial
1880-85; < Latin vestīgi(um) vestige + -al1
Related forms
vestigially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vestigial
  • The buttons and knobs are still there, but they are vestigial.
  • Solitude is almost a vestigial pleasure, now that electronic entertainment can accompany us anywhere.
  • In fact, the vestigial atmosphere is still slowly dissipating into space.
  • The now vestigial cord can be wrapped around the base.
  • Paper shredders to publicly destroy any vestigial photos of exes.
  • Our feet and hands still have vestigial webbing appropriate for swimming and digging for clams in muddy waters.
  • The vestigial pop-up unit is weak, in both output and construction.
  • But the credit-phone would do away with even the vestigial delay caused by having to get your card out of your wallet.
  • Local farmer stands would be a vestigial remnant of old style markets.
  • The city has aboveground rail lines and a vestigial subway system, but hardly anyone rides them.
British Dictionary definitions for vestigial


of, relating to, or being a vestige
(of certain organs or parts of organisms) having attained a simple structure and reduced size and function during the evolution of the species: the vestigial pelvic girdle of a snake
Derived Forms
vestigially, adverb
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 vestigial

1877, from vestige + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vestigial in Medicine

vestigial ves·tig·i·al (vě-stĭj'ē-əl, -stĭj'əl)
Occurring or persisting as a rudimentary or degenerate structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vestigial in Science
Relating to a body part that has become small and lost its use because of evolutionary change. Whales, for example, have small bones located in the muscles of their body walls that are vestigial bones of hips and hind limbs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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