Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting a vestige.
  • adj. Biology Occurring or persisting as a rudimentary or degenerate structure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a vestige or remnant; like a trace from the past.
  • adj. Not fully developed in mature animals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a vestige or remnant; like a vestige.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a vestige; like a mere trace of what has been; also, rudimentary.

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

  • adj. not fully developed in mature animals

Etymologies

vestige + -al (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These rudimentary legs and pelvises are called vestigial structures; they are relics of the whales' common ancestry with their legged cousins.

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • If we only knew enough, we would, no doubt, discover a beneficial use for all the so-called vestigial organs.

    The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved In 50 Arguments

  • For Darwin, the economy of nature had a ready explanation in natural selection, and the non-economical aspects of nature, such as vestigial organs, took on great significance.

    Ernst Mach

  • They might have been external gills, some kind of vestigial ornamentation, or a sex attractant.

    The Dig

  • Like our five fingers, our ear-bones, our rudimentary caudal appendage, or our other 'vestigial' peculiarities, they may remain as indelible tokens of events in our race-history.

    Pragmatism

  • Two recurring examples are: a) it might lead us to think that junk DNA has some important function after all and b) it might similarly lead us to look for the function of so called vestigial organs.15

    Still awaiting the evidence - The Panda's Thumb

  • If ID is so down with genetic decay, they wouldn’t resist the idea of vestigial organs.

    Genomics and the vacuity of Intelligent Design - The Panda's Thumb

  • “It’s actually called a vestigial caudal appendage,” Helena said, as if that would be helpful.

    Balancing in High Heels

  • There were enough of them who kept this kind of vestigial Republican loyalty from the Civil War years and the idea that the Republican Party was the party that freed the slaves.

    Crooks and Liars

  • A "vestigial" feature is something obselete that's still around -- a.k.a. the old Facebook groups

    CNN.com

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Comments

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  • Oh hey guys, I'm back and I forgive you. So I lied.

    October 23, 2007

  • Wordie offends me. I'm leaving and NEVAR COMING BACK.

    October 23, 2007

  • Well, here's news for you. I was not offended (I can't see how anything skipvia said was at all offensive--in fact it was quite endearing and funny), and I was joking about his saying "maybe I should add a joke tag."

    While I'm as happy as the next person to see a typical Wordie Joke Pile-On, the joke wasn't directed at you, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to explain when/how you're joking and when/how you use misspellings and poor grammar, or what that had to do with anything that had been said before. I'm almost certain you didn't mean it that way, but it came off in my face and kinda obnoxious.

    Also, your statement betrays a tendency to disappear into yourself. So chill, dude! ;)

    Besides, I can't tell if you're joking or have offended me.

    Note: THIS IS A JOKE. THIS IS ONLY A JOKE. IN THE EVENT OF A REAL OFFENSIVE STATEMENT, THE ATTENTION SIGNAL YOU JUST HEARD WOULD BE FOLLOWED BY OFFICIAL NEWS AND INSTRUCTIONS. See earworm.

    October 23, 2007

  • So...if...you were commenting on...being offended...by not understanding...whether or not I was joking...and I was joking...then...

    *head explodes*

    October 23, 2007

  • I was commenting on your joking about being offended by not understanding his joke, as well as the general difficulty some people have determining if people are actually joking, or have really said something offensive.

    October 23, 2007

  • Umm...? What brought that on? Did something offend you? At any rate, I was aiming that comment at skipvia just to mess with his gorgeous mind (and hopefully he figured that out).

    October 23, 2007

  • Here's out it works. If I say something that is wrong, it is actually me telling a joke. If I use a word like irregardless or misuse their, it is me parodying non-Wordies. If I say something that offends you, it was intended to offend you, you jerk.

    October 23, 2007

  • Skipvia, I am *highly* offended by... Oh wait. You were joking?

    Well, why didn't you use a tag?! *blames skipvia for own mistake*

    October 23, 2007

  • I always think about those vestigial virgins.

    Maybe I should enclose that in a joke tag just to be very clear.

    October 23, 2007

  • How about tail?

    October 23, 2007

  • I use my pinky toe! You know, for counting. Four toes on a foot would be wrong wrong wrong. But when I hear this word, I also think of the appendix, and tonsils. :-)

    October 23, 2007

  • I always think of the appendix, and the pinky toe, when I see/hear this word.

    October 22, 2007