atavism


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at·a·vism

 (ăt′ə-vĭz′əm)
n.
1. The reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence.
2. An individual or a part that exhibits atavism. Also called throwback.
3. The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.

[French atavisme, from Latin atavus, ancestor : atta, father + avus, grandfather; see awo- in Indo-European roots.]

at′a·vist n.
at′a·vis′tic adj.
at′a·vis′ti·cal·ly adv.

atavism

(ˈætəˌvɪzəm)
n
1. (Biology) the recurrence in a plant or animal of certain primitive characteristics that were present in an ancestor but have not occurred in intermediate generations
2. reversion to a former or more primitive type
[C19: from French atavisme, from Latin atavus strictly: great-grandfather's grandfather, probably from atta daddy + avus grandfather]
ˈatavist n
atavic adj

at•a•vism

(ˈæt əˌvɪz əm)

n.
1.
a. the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
b. an individual embodying such a reversion.
2. reversion to an earlier type; throwback.
[1825–35; < Latin atav(us) remote ancestor (at-, akin to atta familiar name for a grandfather + avus grandfather, forefather) + -ism]
at′a•vist, n.
at`a•vis′tic, adj.
at`a•vis′ti•cal•ly, adv.

atavism

the reappearance in the present of a characteristic belonging to a remote ancestor. — atavist, n. — atavistic, adj.
See also: Ancestors
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.atavism - a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
recurrence, return - happening again (especially at regular intervals); "the return of spring"
Translations
atavismus
atavismi
atavisme

atavism

[ˈætəvɪzəm] Natavismo m

atavism

nAtavismus m

at·a·vism

n. atavismo, reproducción de rasgos y características ancestrales.
References in classic literature ?
In our day we have progressed to a point where such sentiments mark weakness and atavism.
It was after tea on a summer evening, and the conversation, which had roamed in a desultory, spasmodic fashion from golf clubs to the causes of the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, came round at last to the question of atavism and hereditary aptitudes.
Perhaps some deeprooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history.
What to you the friendship of Lop-Ear, the warm lure of the Swift One, the lust and the atavism of Red-Eye?
He was too decided an atavism to draw the crowd's admiration.
By some quirk of atavism, a certain portion of that early self's language had come down to him as a racial memory.
He was a magnificent atavism, a man so purely primitive that he was of the type that came into the world before the development of the moral nature.
Imperial Gothic: Atavism and the Occult in the British Adventure Novel, 1880-1914.
In order to 'see' this way, according to Umberto Boccioni in 1910, "the eye must be freed from its veil of atavism and culture, so that it may at last look upon Nature and not upon the museum as the one and only standard" (Futurist Manifestos 29).
But it was an expression of pure human empathy in the face of inhuman slaughter, a demonstration of Enlightenment values in the face of seventh-century atavism.
The atavism of Sri Lanka's immediate past is perfectly caught in Michael Ondaatje's novel Anil's Ghost, in which a forensic pathologist encounters among the debris of skeletons from the sixth century the discarded body of a modern man.
Antifragile might have furthered a strong intellectual tradition, but it is better thought of as an overwrought exercise in atavism.