missing link

[ mis-ing lingk ]
See synonyms for missing link on Thesaurus.com
  1. a hypothetical form of animal assumed to have constituted a connecting link between the anthropoid apes and humans, identified by some authorities as constituting the genus Australopithecus.

  2. something lacking for the completion of a series or sequence: It’s tricky to find the missing link between children’s books and adult fiction.

Origin of missing link

First recorded in 1850–55

Words Nearby missing link

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use missing link in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for missing link

missing link

  1. the missing link (sometimes capitals) a hypothetical extinct animal or animal group, formerly thought to be intermediate between the anthropoid apes and man

  2. any missing section or part in an otherwise complete series

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

Cultural definitions for missing link

missing link

A supposed animal midway in evolution between apes and humans. The term is based on a misunderstanding about the theory of evolution, which does not state that humans are descended from apes, but rather maintains that both humans and apes descended from a common ancestor. Modern evolutionary scientists do not search for a “missing link.”

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.