Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A visible trace, evidence, or sign of something that once existed but exists or appears no more.
  • n. Biology A rudimentary or degenerate, usually nonfunctioning, structure that is the remnant of an organ or part that was fully developed or functioning in a preceding generation or an earlier stage of development.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The mark of the foot left on the earth; a track or footstep; a trace; a sign;
  • n. A faint mark or visible sign left by something which is lost, or has perished, or is no longer present; remains.
  • n. a vestigial organ; a non-functional organ or body part that was once functional in an evolutionary ancestor

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The mark of the foot left on the earth; a track or footstep; a trace; a sign; hence, a faint mark or visible sign left by something which is lost, or has perished, or is no longer present; remains.
  • n. A small, degenerate, or imperfectly developed part or organ which has been more fully developed in some past generation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A footprint; a footstep; a track; a trace; hence, a mark, impression, or appearance of something which is no longer present or in existence; a sensible evidence or visible sign of something absent, lost, or perished; remains of something passed away.
  • n. In biology, any vestigial organ or tissue, having little or no utility, but corresponding to a useful part existing in some lower animal. See vestigial and rudiment, 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an indication that something has been present

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Latin vestīgium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, from Latin vestigium ("footstep, footprint, track, the sole of the foot, a trace, mark"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • From here, as from the Sassi Bianco, one sees its true form and its actual summit; while of the one no idea can be formed, and of the other no vestige is visible, from either the Tre Sassi or the Fedaja.

    Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys

  • I think think the same goes for the word vestige ...

    Political Animal

  • But these daggers, his only arms, were broken by the sword of Holagou, and not a vestige is left of the enemies of mankind, except the word assassin, which, in the most odious sense, has been adopted in the languages of Europe.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Israel will have to be careful not to give the impression that it is hampering Obama’s foreign policy, like a kind of vestige from the Bush period.

    some pre-emptive meddling from haaretz

  • Thus Intellectual-Principle is a vestige of the Supreme; but since the vestige is a Form going out into extension, into plurality, that Prior, as the source of Form, must be itself without shape and Form: if the Prior were

    The Six Enneads.

  • You can find traditional models or some very interesting solutions like the splendid "vestige" model shown in the picture on the right you can buy it at less than 300$...35% less than normal retail price!

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • The owner of the company that owns the mine, the International Coal Group, is holding out hope, any kind of vestige of hope that these 13 miners are still alive.

    CNN Transcript Jan 3, 2006

  • I wondered whether it was some kind of vestige of Catholic theology from their education system. or "some class of vestige of Catholic theology".

    languagehat.com: SOUTH INDIAN NAMES.

  • But a creature is called a vestige based on properties which point to God as triple cause “ efficient, formal, and final cause; for example, the properties: one, true, and good.” [

    Amputee

  • In what some of the harder-core GMail and Google Apps users might say is a step backwards, another "vestige" of the traditional approach to email that users will have to live with is the lack of email threading -- a part of the Gmail experience that Google calls "the conversation."

    InformationWeek - All Stories And Blogs

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A word I want to remember when I have to translate the Slovene sled, as an alternative to trace, which has become overused in post-Derridean theoretical writings.

    September 6, 2010