Atavism At"a*vism, n. [L. atavus an ancestor, fr. avus a grandfather.] 1. (a) The recurrence, or a tendency to a recurrence, of the original type of a species in the progeny of its varieties; resemblance to remote rather than to near ancestors; reversion to the original form. (b) (Biol.) The recurrence of any peculiarity or disease of an ancestor in a subsequent generation, after an intermission for a generation or two. [1913 Webster]

Now and then there occur cases of what physiologists call atavism, or reversion to an ancestral type of character. --J. Fiske [1913 Webster]

2. recurrence of or reversion to a past style, outlook, approach, or manner. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Atavism — • Duchesne introduced the word to designate those cases in which species revert spontaneously to what are presumably long lost characters Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Atavism     Atavism …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • atavism — ATAVÍSM s.n. Apariţie la un descendent animal sau vegetal a unor particularităţi (fizice sau psihice) proprii ascendenţilor îndepărtaţi. – Din fr. atavisme. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  ATAVÍSM s. (biol.) reversie. Trimis de …   Dicționar Român

  • atavism — atavism. См. атавизм. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • atavism — 1833, from Fr. atavisme, attested by 1820s, from L. atavus ancestor, forefather, from at perhaps here meaning beyond + avus grandfather, from PIE *awo adult male relative other than the father (see UNCLE (Cf. uncle)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • atavism — *reversion, throwback …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • atavism — [at′ə viz΄əm] n. [Fr atavisme < L atavus, father of a great grandfather, ancestor < at , beyond + avus, grandfather < IE * ati, beyond + * awos, maternal grandfather] 1. appearance in an individual of some characteristic found in a… …   English World dictionary

  • Atavism — The term atavism (derived from the Latin atavus , a great grandfather s grandfather and, thus, more generally, an ancestor) denotes the tendency to revert to ancestral type. An atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing… …   Wikipedia

  • atavism — noun Etymology: French atavisme, from Latin atavus ancestor, from at (probably akin to atta daddy) + avus grandfather more at uncle Date: 1833 1. a. recurrence in an organism of a trait or character …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • atavism — The appearance in an individual of characteristics presumed to have been present in some remote ancestor; reversion to an earlier biologic type, a throwback. [L. atavus, a remote ancestor] * * * at·a·vism at ə .viz əm n 1) recurrence in an… …   Medical dictionary

  • atavism —   n. reversion to remote ancestral type; throw back ; recurrence of hereditary feature after an interval of a generation or more.    ♦ atavistic, a. pertaining to remote ancestor.    ♦ atavist, n. person or thing marked by atavism …   Dictionary of difficult words

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