- the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
- an individual embodying such a reversion.
Origin of atavism
Examples from the Web for atavism
Historical Examples of atavism
I used the word 'atavism' to mean a reversion to the primitive.Measure for a Loner
James Judson Harmon
Can I explain, can anyone explain, the mysterious vagaries of atavism?Uncanny Tales
Altogether a good deal of nonsense has been written about atavism.Woman
William J. Robinson
I would not omit to mention also the law of Atavism, in this discussion of heredity.What a Young Woman Ought to Know
For a short moment he hesitated but atavism and necessity were against him.Skippy Bedelle
Word Origin for atavism
1833, from French atavisme, attested by 1820s, from Latin atavus "ancestor, forefather," from at- perhaps here meaning "beyond" + avus "grandfather," from PIE *awo- "adult male relative other than the father" (see uncle).