Sunday, 26 February 2012

Entry: atavistically (adj.)

In context: "Besides Hal, who's atavistically dark-complected anyway..."

Definition: From atavism (n.): Resemblance to grand-parents or more remote ancestors rather than to parents; tendency to reproduce the ancestral type in animals or plants.

Also, if you take disease or symptom broadly:

b. Pathol. Recurrence of the disease or constitutional symptoms of an ancestor after the intermission of one or more generations.

Other: A word familiar from Hunter S. Thompson.

Very cool usages:

1915    W. S. Maugham Of Human Bondage xxvi. 108   Some atavistic inheritance of the cave-dweller.

1922    J. Joyce Ulysses iii. 645   The sporadic reappearance of atavistic delinquency.

SNOOT score: 3

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

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