Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A freak of nature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person or animal that is markedly unusual or deformed

Etymologies

From Latin. (Wiktionary)

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  • "In the Middle Ages, a leading theory held that fossils had nothing to do with life. Instead, they were inorganic lusus naturae, freaks of nature, that were forged inside the churning earth, perhaps, or calcified impressions left in the ground by Roman artifacts. This notion persisted into the early 1700s."
    —Richard Stone, Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant, (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), 20

    September 20, 2008