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atavism

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atavism


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Atavism  \At"a*vism\,  n.  [L.  atavus  an  ancestor,  fr  avus  a 
  grandfather.] 
  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 
 
  Now  and  then  there  occur  cases  of  what 
  physiologists  call  atavism,  or  reversion  to  an 
  ancestral  type  of  character.  --J.  Fiske 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  atavism 
  n  :  a  reappearance  of  an  earlier  characteristic  [syn:  {reversion}, 
  {throwback}] 




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