Definition of atavistic adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌætəˈvɪstɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌætəˈvɪstɪk//
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related to the attitudes and behaviour of the first humans an atavistic urge/instinct/fear Word Origin late 19th cent.: based on Latin atavus ‘forefather’ + the adjectival suffix -istic.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: atavistic