- The definition of a fossil is the preserved remains of a prehistoric organism or is slang for someone or something that is old and outdated.
- An example of a fossil is the preserved remains from a prehistoric organism that have been preserved inside rock.
- An example of a fossil is an old, rigid unchanging person who won't embrace new technology.
- An example of a fossil is the Lucy fossil, the remains of the oldest (3.18 million years old) remains of a human being ever found, discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by Doctor Donald Johanson.
A leaf fossil.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- Obsolete any rock or mineral dug out of the earth
- any hardened remains or imprints of plant or animal life of some previous geologic period, preserved in the earth's crust, including petrified wood and various resins
- anything fossilized or like a fossil
- a person who is old-fashioned or has outmoded, fixed ideas
Origin: French fossile ; from Classical Latin fossilis, dug out, dug up ; from fossus, past participle of fodere, to dig up ; from Indo-European an unverified form bhedh-, to dig inch(es) the earth from source Welsh bedd, grave, Old English bedd, bed
- of, having the nature of, or forming a fossil or fossils
- belonging to the past; unchanged by progress; antiquated
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust.
- One, such as a rigid theory, that is outdated or antiquated.
- Linguistics a. A word or morpheme that is used only in certain restricted contexts, as kempt in unkempt, but is otherwise obsolete.b. An archaic syntactic rule or pattern used only in idioms, as so be it.
- Characteristic of or having the nature of a fossil.
- Being or similar to a fossil.
- Belonging to the past; antiquated.
Origin: From Latin fossilis, dug up, from fossus, past participle of fodere, to dig.
fossil - Cultural Definition
The evidence in rock of the presence of a plant or an animal from an earlier geological period. Fossils are formed when minerals in groundwater replace materials in bones and tissue, creating a replica in stone of the original organism or of their tracks. The study of fossils is the domain of paleontology. The oldest fossils (of bacteria) are 3.8 billion years old.
- The term is used figuratively to refer to a person with very old-fashioned or outmoded viewpoints: “That old fossil thinks that men should wear suits at the theater!”
fossil - Science Definition
- fossilize fossilize verb
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