from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. ancestral, atavistic

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to a remote ancestor, or to atavism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to atavism; characterized by or exhibiting atavism; reversionary.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • They all spoke in a rough manner; their grammar and word-forms were incorrect; language in them leaped backwards into a curious atavic regression.

    The Quest

  • The man was struggling with the atavic impulse to thrash the maddening, arrogant woman creature into a humbler frame of mind.

    The Fur Bringers A Story of the Canadian Northwest

  • With atavic cunning he sat upon the outside and waited for the triumph of death.

    The Man from Brodney's

  • Prichard, quoted by Sedgwick, speaks of a case of atavic transmission of albinism through the male line of the negro race.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • Violent and muscular at first, the struggle is becoming, more and more, pacific and intellectual, notwithstanding some atavic recurrences of earlier methods or some psycho-pathological manifestations of individual violence against society and of social violence against individuals.

    Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx)

  • And, at the same time, through his mind had passed the intuitive anxiety for other places, for the thousand other things that one may see or do in this world and which one may enjoy; a chaos of troubling half thoughts, of atavic reminiscences and of phantoms had furtively marked themselves in the depths of his savage child's mind --


  • The grandson of Erasmus Darwin had little appreciation of the views of him of whom, through atavic heredity, he was the intellectual and scientific child.

    Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution His Life and Work

  • And as, happily, the atavic tendency to frame hypotheses was accompanied by an equally strong need to test them by well-devised experiments, and to acquire all possible information before publishing his results, the effect was that he touched no topic without elucidating it.

    Darwiniana : Essays — Volume 02

  • The devout one, carrying his adoration almost to a point of the revival of atavic cannibalism, says to Jesus: "O, thou owner of mine!

    The Legacy of Ignorantism


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