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English definition of “atavistic”

atavistic

adjective     /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     /ˈæt.ə.vɪ.zəm/ US  /ˈæt̬-/ noun [U]
(Definition of atavistic adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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