See more synonyms for relict on
  1. Ecology. a species or community living in an environment that has changed from that which is typical for it.
  2. a remnant or survivor.
  3. a widow.

Origin of relict

1525–35; < Medieval Latin relicta widow, noun use of feminine of Latin relictus, past participle of relinquere to relinquish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for relict

dowager, relict

Examples from the Web for relict

Historical Examples of relict

British Dictionary definitions for relict


  1. ecology
    1. a group of animals or plants that exists as a remnant of a formerly widely distributed group in an environment different from that in which it originated
    2. (as modifier)a relict fauna
  2. geology
    1. a mountain, lake, glacier, etc, that is a remnant of a pre-existing formation after a destructive process has occurred
    2. a mineral that remains unaltered after metamorphism of the rock in which it occurs
  3. an archaic word for widow (def. 1)
  4. an archaic word for relic (def. 6)

Word Origin for relict

C16: from Latin relictus left behind, from relinquere to relinquish
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 relict

"a widow," mid-15c., from Old French relict, fem. relicte "person or thing left behind" (especially a widow) and directly from Medieval Latin relicta "a widow," noun use of fem. of relictus "abandoned, left behind," past participle adjective from Latin relinquere "to leave behind" (see relinquish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

relict in Medicine


[rĕlĭkt, rĭ-lĭkt]
  1. Something that has survived; a remnant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.