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English definition of “atavistic”

atavistic

adjective uk   /ˌæt.əˈvɪs.tɪk/ us    /ˌæt̬-/ formal
happening because of a very old habit from a long time ago in human history, not because of a conscious decision or because it is necessary now: an atavistic fear of the darkHabitual behaviour
atavism
noun [U] uk   /ˈæt.ə.vɪ.zəm/ us    /ˈæt̬-/
(Definition of atavistic from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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