- of, relating to, or characterized by atavism; reverting to or suggesting the characteristics of a remote ancestor or primitive type.
Origin of atavistic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for atavistic
Sitting face to face with a Satmar man schooling her in atavistic Satmar rules was the last place she wanted to be.How One Sex Abuse Case Tore Apart the Williamsburg Hasidim
August 8, 2013
These councils have been seeking amendments in the Hindu Marriage Act to support their atavistic views.India’s Fatal Rape Was Typical in a Country That Degrades Women
January 2, 2013
These atavistic triggers, however, aren't very satisfying explanations taken alone.The Afghanistan-Kyrgyzstan Connection
June 19, 2010
This is of great importance in view of the atavistic origin of crime.
It is only an atavistic phenomenon, the return to a former state.
The criminal is an atavistic being, a relic of a vanished race.
Citizen Howard Temple-Tracy is a dangerous, atavistic, evil genius.Gun for Hire
Dallas McCord Reynolds
Perhaps it is atavistic—this desire to rest and swing in a hamaca.Edge of the Jungle
- of or relating to reversion to a former or more primitive type
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
Word Origin and History for atavistic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Relating to an inherited trait that reappears in an individual after being absent from a strain of organism for several generations. Atavistic traits were formerly thought to be throwbacks to ancestral types but are now known to be due to the inheritance of a pair of recessive genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.