any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing of a former geologic age, as a skeleton, footprint, etc.
a markedly outdated or old-fashioned person or thing.
a linguistic form that is archaic except in certain restricted contexts, as nonce in for the nonce, or that follows a rule or pattern that is no longer productive, as the sentence So be it.
of the nature of a fossil: fossil insects.
belonging to a past epoch or discarded system; antiquated: a fossil approach to economics.
- fos·sil·like, adjective
- sub·fos·sil, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use fossil in a sentence
Similar blackouts many years ago lead the state to transition away from fossil fuels like natural gas to renewable energy.Environment Report: Real Estate Sellers Aren’t Required to Disclose Sea Level Rise Risk | MacKenzie Elmer | August 24, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
The amount of sea level rise depends roughly on how much fossil fuels humans burn in the coming decades causing global temperatures to spike, which eventually leads to the melting of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic and swelling of the oceans.Nobody’s Talking About the Sports Arena Flood Zone | MacKenzie Elmer | August 19, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
We know them from the fossils, footprints and tools they left behind.
The energy transition is not only about using green fuels instead of fossil fuels, and then it’s over.
These agreements offer an opportunity to push traditional and mostly fossil fuel-based power companies toward more renewable energy and could help slow the warming of the planet.Environment Report: One Way to Force Companies to Emit Less Carbon | MacKenzie Elmer | August 10, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
But Sanders, a representative of the Northeastern vacation state of Vermont, also opposes fossil fuel development.
And given the current glut in fossil fuels, it might even be a better economic bet to wait a few years.
By most measures, it is the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.The Pipeline From Hell: There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL | Jack Holmes | November 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They believe that companies trafficking in fossil fuels will eventually face financial problems.
The black market trade in fossils stolen from the richest Cretaceous fossil locality in the world has prompted a crackdown.Stopping the Million-Dollar Fossil Thieves: Illegal Trade Meets World of Insatiable Research | Scott Bixby | June 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To those who are unaccustomed to view fossil remains the dimensions of some of these seem almost incredible.Gospel Philosophy | J. H. Ward
The fossil record is too incomplete to reveal the time when the two tribes diverged.Genera and Subgenera of Chipmunks | John A. White
From the discovery of immense fossil bones of mastodons and other extinct species.The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 5 | Hubert Howe Bancroft
This chapter ought not to be concluded without a short notice of that remarkable rain known to geologists as “fossil rain.”The Rain Cloud | Anonymous
The fossil record of the kangaroo rats is so scanty that one can but speculate on the evolutionary sequence.Speciation in the Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii | Henry W. Setzer
British Dictionary definitions for fossil
a relic, remnant, or representation of an organism that existed in a past geological age, or of the activity of such an organism, occurring in the form of mineralized bones, shells, etc, as casts, impressions, and moulds, and as frozen perfectly preserved organisms
(as modifier): fossil insects
a person, idea, thing, etc, that is outdated or incapable of change
(as modifier): fossil politicians
linguistics a form once current but now appearing only in one or two special contexts, as for example stead, which is found now only in instead (of) and in phrases like in his stead
obsolete any rock or mineral dug out of the earth
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
Scientific definitions for fossil
The remains or imprint of an organism from a previous geologic time. A fossil can consist of the preserved tissues of an organism, as when encased in amber, ice, or pitch, or more commonly of the hardened relic of such tissues, as when organic matter is replaced by dissolved minerals. Hardened fossils are often found in layers of sedimentary rock and along the beds of rivers that flow through them. See also index fossil microfossil trace fossil.
- fossilize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for fossil
The evidence in rock of the presence of a plant or an animal from an earlier geological period. Fossils are formed when minerals in groundwater replace materials in bones and tissue, creating a replica in stone of the original organism or of their tracks. The study of fossils is the domain of paleontology. The oldest fossils (of bacteria) are 3.8 billion years old.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.