Definition of atavism:
- The recurrence of any peculiarity or disease of an ancestor in a subsequent generation, after an intermission for a generation or two.
- The recurrence, or a tendency to a recurrence, of the original type of a species in the progeny of its varieties; resemblance to remote rather than to near ancestors; reversion to the original form.
- "The Antiquity of Man", Charles Lyell.
The only picture- or call it atavism if you will- which adorned Miss Slayback's dun- colored walls was a passe- partout snowscape, night closing in, and pink cottage windows peering out from under eaves.- "Gaslight Sonatas", Fannie Hurst.
- "The Perfect Wagnerite A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring", George Bernard Shaw.