What does vestigial mean?

Definitions for vestigial

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word vestigial.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. vestigial, rudimentaryadjective

    not fully developed in mature animals

    "rudimentary wings"


  1. vestigialadjective

    Of or pertaining to a vestige or remnant; like a trace from the past.

  2. vestigialadjective

    Not fully developed in mature animals.

  3. Etymology: vestige + -al


  1. vestigial

    Vestigiality is the retention, during the process of evolution, of genetically determined structures or attributes that have lost some or all of the ancestral function in a given species. Assessment of the vestigiality must generally rely on comparison with homologous features in related species. The emergence of vestigiality occurs by normal evolutionary processes, typically by loss of function of a feature that is no longer subject to positive selection pressures when it loses its value in a changing environment. The feature may be selected against more urgently when its function becomes definitively harmful, but if the lack of the feature provides no advantage, and its presence provides no disadvantage, the feature may not be phased out by natural selection and persist across species. Examples of vestigial structures (also called degenerate, atrophied, or rudimentary organs) are the loss of functional wings in island-dwelling birds; the human vomeronasal organ; and the hindlimbs of the snake and whale.


  1. vestigial

    Vestigial refers to something, often a part or structure in an organism, that has become functionally useless or redundant as a result of evolution. It is typically small, degenerated, or underdeveloped and serves little to no purpose. It's a remnant of something that was once larger or more noticeable in ancestral species. Examples of vestigial structures include the human appendix and wisdom teeth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Vestigialadjective

    of or pertaining to a vestige or remnant; like a vestige


  1. Vestigial

    small or degenerate: only a trace or remnant of a previously functional organ.

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How to pronounce vestigial?

How to say vestigial in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of vestigial in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of vestigial in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of vestigial in a Sentence

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin:

    Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life's over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness.

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"vestigial." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/vestigial>.

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    openly distrustful and unwilling to confide
    A handsome
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