living fossil


noun

an organism that is a living example of an otherwise extinct group and that has remained virtually unchanged in structure and function over a long period of time, as the coelacanth and the horseshoe crab.

Nearby words

  1. living bandage,
  2. living bank,
  3. living daylights,
  4. living death,
  5. living end, the,
  6. living history,
  7. living picture,
  8. living room,
  9. living soul,
  10. living standard

Origin of living fossil

First recorded in 1920–25

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for living fossil

living fossil

noun

an animal or plant, such as the coelacanth and ginkgo, belonging to a group most of whose members are extinct
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