- the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
- an individual embodying such a reversion.
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Origin of atavism
OTHER WORDS FROM atavismat·a·vist, noun
Words nearby atavism
Example sentences from the Web for atavism
Can I explain, can anyone explain, the mysterious vagaries of atavism?Uncanny Tales|Various
The facts were wrong, and the theory of atavism perfectly unreasonable as applied to such a case.My Autobiography|F. Max Mller
Through some strange freak of atavism the father of the boy bred back, and was more or less of a Stone-Age cave-dweller.Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)|Elbert Hubbard
Is there no sympathy with this unhappy victim of atavism, or of society?Not Guilty|Robert Blatchford
Altogether a good deal of nonsense has been written about atavism.Woman|William J. Robinson