Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Word of the day: atavism

The word of the day is atavism:

  1. Biology.
    1. the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
    2. an individual embodying such a reversion.
  2. reversion to an earlier type; throwback.
1833, from F. atavisme, coined 1830s from L. atavus "ancestor," from at- perhaps here meaning "beyond" + avus "grandfather," from PIE *awo- "adult male relative other than the father" (see uncle). (

"The revolution all seizures of land seemed to be outbursts of atavistic communism."

- John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution

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