Definition of vestige in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɛstɪdʒ/


1A trace or remnant of something that is disappearing or no longer exists: the last vestiges of colonialism
More example sentences
  • Cut and bleeding, I finally managed to free myself from the thorn prison only to discover the last vestiges of sunlight disappearing over the horizon.
  • The federal Office of Civil Rights had determined that vestiges of segregation still existed in Texas higher education.
  • Instead, they were moments that struck me as evidence that the vestiges of basic human civility could remain, despite the all-encompassing hedonism and mechanism.
remnant, remainder, fragment, relic, echo, indication, sign, trace, mark, print, imprint, impression, legacy, reminder, memento, souvenir, token, trophy;
remains, leftovers, leavings, evidence, residue
archaic memorandum, memory, remembrancer
1.1 [usually with negative] The smallest amount: he waited patiently, but without a vestige of sympathy
More example sentences
  • For this flood, ministers have produced not a vestige of proof.
  • This group are filthy in their habits, without a vestige of discipline, and are cowards to a degree.
  • One more twist is required to help this far-fetched plot attain a vestige of credibility.
trace, scrap, touch, tinge, hint, suggestion, suspicion, soupçon, inkling, whisper, scintilla, whit, spark, glimmer, flicker, atom, speck, bit, ounce, drop, dash, jot, iota, shred, crumb, morsel, fragment, grain, spot, mite, modicum
informal smidgen, smidge, tad
Irish informal stim
archaic scantling, scruple
2 Biology A part or organ of an organism which has become reduced or functionless in the course of evolution.
Example sentences
  • Such a statement implies that the appendix represents a vestige of an organ with a former greater existence in the evolutionary sense, rather than in an earlier stage of its development.
  • The ‘splint bones,’ far from being useless vestiges of evolution, play an important role in the horse's leg.
  • Sprouts were distinguished from primary stems by the trace of an inflorescence and by the difference in the age of the shoots, which could be determined by counting the number of bud scale vestiges.


Late Middle English: from French, from Latin vestigium 'footprint'.

  • This word meaning ‘trace’ comes via French from Latin vestigium ‘footprint’. Investigation (Late Middle English) was formed from the related verb meaning ‘to track, to follow the traces of’.

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Line breaks: ves|tige

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