Fossil definition

fŏsəl
Frequency:
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.
noun
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Belonging to the past; antiquated.
adjective
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A word or morpheme that is used only in certain restricted contexts, as kempt in unkempt, but is otherwise obsolete.
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An archaic syntactic rule or pattern used only in idioms, as so be it.
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(paleontology) Any preserved evidence of ancient life, including shells, imprints, burrows, coprolites, and organically-produced chemicals.
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(linguistics) A fossilized term.
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(figuratively) Anything extremely old, extinct, or outdated.
noun
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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.
noun
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(obs.) Any rock or mineral dug out of the earth.
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A person who is old-fashioned or has outmoded, fixed ideas.
noun
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Of, having the nature of, or forming a fossil or fossils.
adjective
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Belonging to the past; unchanged by progress; antiquated.
adjective
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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of a fossil is the preserved remains of a prehistoric organism or is slang for someone or something that is old and outdated.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.

noun
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Characteristic of or having the nature of a fossil.
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Being or similar to a fossil.
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The remains or imprint of an organism from a previous geologic time. A fossil can consist of the preserved tissues of an organism, as when encased in amber, ice, or pitch, or more commonly of the hardened relic of such tissues, as when organic matter is replaced by dissolved minerals. Hardened fossils are often found in layers of sedimentary rock and along the beds of rivers that flow through them.
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One that is outdated or antiquated.

He was viewed as a fossil after decades in the same job.

noun
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Anything fossilized or like a fossil.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
fossil
Plural:
fossils

Origin of fossil

  • From Latin fossilis dug up from fossus past participle of fodere to dig

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

  • From French fossile, from Latin fossilis (“something which has been dug up”), from fodio (“I dig up”).

    From Wiktionary