adjective \ˈfä-səl\

Definition of FOSSIL

:  preserved from a past geologic age <fossil plants> <fossil water in an underground reservoir>
:  being or resembling a fossil
:  of or relating to fossil fuel

Origin of FOSSIL

Latin fossilis obtained by digging, from fodere to dig — more at bed
First Known Use: 1604

Rhymes with FOSSIL



: something (such as a leaf, skeleton, or footprint) that is from a plant or animal which lived in ancient times and that you can see in some rocks

: a person whose ideas are very old-fashioned or out-of-date

Full Definition of FOSSIL

:  a remnant, impression, or trace of an organism of past geologic ages that has been preserved in the earth's crust — compare living fossil
a :  a person whose views are outmoded :  fogy
b :  something (as a theory) that has become rigidly fixed
:  an old word or word element preserved only by idiom (as fro in to and fro)

Examples of FOSSIL

  1. <some old fossil who thinks that a boy and a girl shouldn't be together unsupervised until they are engaged>

First Known Use of FOSSIL


Rhymes with FOSSIL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Remnant, impression, or trace of an animal or plant of a past geologic age that has been preserved in the Earth's crust. The data recorded in fossils, known as the fossil record, constitute the primary source of information about the history of life on the Earth. Only a small fraction of ancient organisms are preserved as fossils, and usually only organisms that have a solid skeleton or shell. A shell or bone that is buried quickly after deposition may retain organic tissue, though it becomes petrified (converted to a stony substance) over time. Unaltered hard parts, such as the shells of clams, are relatively common in sedimentary rocks. The soft parts of animals or plants are rarely preserved. The embedding of insects in amber and the preservation of mammoths in ice are rare but striking examples of the fossil preservation of soft tissues. Traces of organisms may also occur as tracks, trails, or even borings.


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