• synonyms


See more synonyms for relict on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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Origin of relict

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

Related Words

dowager, relict

Examples from the Web for relict

Historical Examples

  • His relict, with a glance at his portrait, shook her head and wiped her eyes.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Edwin, promise me you'll never describe me as your 'relict.'

  • You forget, sir, that you are talking to the relict of the late Paul Winpennie.

  • How he must have loved this dear relict of his military predecessor!

  • It was as if someone had mentioned spaghetti to the relict of an Italian organ-grinder.

    Right Ho, Jeeves

    P. G. Wodehouse

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)
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Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

relict in Medicine


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