[ve-stij-ee-uh l, -stij-uh l]
- of, relating to, or of the nature of a vestige: a vestigial tail.
Origin of vestigial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- of, relating to, or being a vestige
- (of certain organs or parts of organisms) having attained a simple structure and reduced size and function during the evolution of the speciesthe vestigial pelvic girdle of a snake
Word Origin and History for vestigially
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Occurring or persisting as a rudimentary or degenerate structure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Relating to a body part that has become small and lost its use because of evolutionary change. Whales, for example, have small bones located in the muscles of their body walls that are vestigial bones of hips and hind limbs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.