Definitions for fossilˈfɒs əl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word fossil

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fos•silˈfɒs əl(n.)

  1. any preserved remains or imprint of a living organism, usu. of a former geologic age, as a bone, shell, or leaf impression.

    Category: Paleontology

  2. a markedly outdated or old-fashioned person or thing.

  3. an obsolete or archaic word preserved in certain restricted contexts, as nonce in for the nonce, or a construction following a pattern no longer productive in the language, as

    So be it.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  4. (adj.)of the nature of a fossil:

    fossil insects.

  5. formed from the remains of prehistoric life, as coal or oil:

    fossil fuels; fossil resins.

  6. antiquated.

Origin of fossil:

1555–65; < F fossile < L fossilisobtained by digging, der. of fodere to dig


Princeton's WordNet

  1. dodo, fogy, fogey, fossil(noun)

    someone whose style is out of fashion

  2. fossil(adj)

    the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been excavated from the soil

  3. fossil(adj)

    characteristic of a fossil

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. fossil(noun)ˈfɒs əl

    a piece of rock in which a plant or animal from a long time ago is preserved


  1. fossil(Noun)

    The mineralized remains of an animal or plant.

  2. fossil(Noun)

    Any preserved evidence of ancient life, including shells, imprints, burrows, coprolites, and organically-produced chemicals.

  3. fossil(Noun)

    A fossilized term.

  4. fossil(Noun)

    Anything extremely old, extinct, or outdated.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fossil(adj)

    dug out of the earth; as, fossil coal; fossil salt

  2. Fossil(adj)

    like or pertaining to fossils; contained in rocks, whether petrified or not; as, fossil plants, shells

  3. Fossil(noun)

    a substance dug from the earth

  4. Fossil(noun)

    the remains of an animal or plant found in stratified rocks. Most fossils belong to extinct species, but many of the later ones belong to species still living

  5. Fossil(noun)

    a person whose views and opinions are extremely antiquated; one whose sympathies are with a former time rather than with the present


  1. Fossil

    Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous rock formations and sedimentary layers is known as the fossil record. The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, and the evolutionary relationships between taxa are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology. Such a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years. Hence, fossils range in age from the youngest at the start of the Holocene Epoch to the oldest from the Archaean Eon, up to 3.4 billion years old. The observation that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led early geologists to recognize a geological timescale in the 19th century. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed geologists to determine the numerical or "absolute" age of the various strata and thereby the included fossils.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. fossil

    1. In software, a misfeature that becomes understandable only in historical context, as a remnant of times past retained so as not to break compatibility. Example: the retention of octal as default base for string escapes in C, in spite of the better match of hexadecimal to ASCII and modern byte-addressable architectures. See dusty deck. 2. More restrictively, a feature with past but no present utility. Example: the force-all-caps (LCASE) bits in the V7 and BSD Unix tty driver, designed for use with monocase terminals. (In a perversion of the usual backward-compatibility goal, this functionality has actually been expanded and renamed in some later USG Unix releases as the IUCLC and OLCUC bits.)

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fossil' in Nouns Frequency: #2390

Translations for fossil

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the hardened remains of an animal or vegetable found in rock

Fossils have been found here which may be a million years old.

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