Definition of vestigial in English:

vestigial

Line breaks: ves|tigial
Pronunciation: /vɛˈstɪdʒɪəl
 
, -dʒ(ə)l/

adjective

  • 1Forming a very small remnant of something that was once greater or more noticeable: he felt a vestigial flicker of anger from last night
    More example sentences
    • This kind of argument, although true, overlooks the underlying cause of this kind of behavior - the primitive, vestigial, human survival instinct for tribalism.
    • Perhaps this attitude stemmed from some vestigial Old World notions of hierarchy, division of labor, or even the unseemliness of the music that they produced.
    • By Monday night, though, in his 48-hour-warning speech, the references to international law and the United Nations had become vestigial.
    Synonyms
  • 2 Biology (Of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution: the vestigial wings of kiwis are entirely hidden
    More example sentences
    • The point is not that vestigial organs have no function whatsoever.
    • The belief that wisdom teeth are vestigial organs that lack a function in the body (as was previously believed for the appendix), is less common today but still evident.
    • It used to be maintained that there were almost 200 vestigial organs in the human body.
    Synonyms
    rudimentary, undeveloped, incomplete, embryonic, immature; non-functional
    technical abortive, primitive, obsolete

Derivatives

vestigially

adverb
More example sentences
  • Canada, Australia and New Zealand, he explained, have a culture still vestigially fascinated by the book.
  • This parallelism exists, vestigially, in the tradition of animal parables.
  • The absurdity is heightened by the arrangement of works in the gallery, which is vestigially museological, featuring vitrines, shelves and careful spatial separations within the gallery's clean white walls.

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