Atavism definition

ătə-vĭzəm
Frequency:
The reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence.
noun
20
0
The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.
noun
11
3
Appearance in an individual of some characteristic found in a remote ancestor but not in nearer ancestors.
noun
9
2
The definition of an atavism is a genetic trait that reoccurs after skipping several generations.

If a person has blue eyes like her great great grandmother but her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother have brown eyes, then having blue eyes is an example of an atavism.

noun
5
0
The reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence.
noun
7
3
Advertisement
An individual or a part that exhibits atavism.
noun
5
1
noun
4
0
The recurrence or reversion to a past behaviour, method, characteristic or style after a long period of absence.
noun
4
1
(sociology) Reversion to past primitive behavior, especially violence.
noun
2
0
An individual with such a characteristic.
noun
1
0
Advertisement
An individual or a part that exhibits atavism.
noun
2
2
The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.
noun
2
3
Such a characteristic.
noun
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
atavism
Plural:
atavisms

Origin of atavism

  • French atavisme from Latin atavus ancestor atta father avus grandfather awo- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French atavisme.

    From Wiktionary