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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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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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