You searched for: “atavism
Returning to an earlier or an ancestral behavior. (1)
Word Entries at Word Info: “atavism
atavism (s) (noun), atavisms (pl)
1. The emergence of a genetic characteristic typical of a previous generation, which could be caused by a recombination of genes: Some people have the impression that James is reverting to atavisms that existed when he was a child.
2. The reappearance of a former behavior even after a long period of being educated or trained: Mark's dog seemed to be returning to a kind of atavism which it had when it was a wild dog.
3. Etymology: from French atavisme; from Latin atavus, "ancestor, forefather"; from at- perhaps here meaning "beyond" + avus, "grandfather"; from "adult male relative other than the father".
A little boy is behaving like a monkey swinging from the ceiling light.
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This entry is located in the following units: atav- (page 1) -ism, -ismus (page 8)