missing link


Definition of missing link

1 : an absent member needed to complete a series or resolve a problem
2a : a hypothetical intermediate evolutionary form between humans and their presumed simian progenitors
b : a hypothetical intermediate evolutionary form between one animal species or group and its presumed ancestors a missing link between reptiles and birds

Examples of missing link in a Sentence

Police are hopeful that the new evidence will provide the missing links needed to solve the crime. scientists searching for the missing link

Recent Examples on the Web

All three arrive on the Vineyard burdened by emotional baggage, the sense of youthful promises unfulfilled, and their lingering obsession with Jacy – that missing link but palpable presence in their individual and joint history. Mameve Medwed, BostonGlobe.com, "In Richard Russo’s “Chances Are...,” an incomplete reunion brings overdue revelations," 25 July 2019 Indeed, this fossil could be a missing link between animals with no segments, like simple worms, and arthropods, like insects and lobsters. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Ancient wormlike animal caught in its tracks sheds light on early locomotion," 4 Sep. 2019 Barring any unexpected departures, Antonio Conte's side will not look for any new central defenders this summer, with Godin's arrival thought to be the missing link in the team. SI.com, "Inter 'Reject Chance' to Sign Laurent Koscielny After Arsenal Star Is Offered to the Club," 4 June 2019 In their pursuit of the Scudetto, someone like him could be the missing link. SI.com, "Mauro Icardi: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up," 21 Aug. 2019 The landers have been a bit of a missing link in the Trump administration’s vision of returning quickly to the moon. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "Alabama native ready to lead NASA back to the moon," 17 Aug. 2019 Last year's signings of Fabinho and Naby Keïta have offered an insight into what the makeup of their starting lineup could be next season, and Fernandes could be the missing link which takes them that one step closer to the Premier League title. SI.com, "Bruno Fernandes: What He Would Bring to Each Premier League Top 6 Club," 11 June 2019 This missing link was the object of Wiles’ seven-year quest. Quanta Magazine, "Why the Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem Doesn’t Need to Be Enhanced," 3 June 2019 Smith would be the missing link on a team seeking its first title in 31 years. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "MLB second-half storylines: Giants could do Bumgarner a favor by trading him," 13 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'missing link.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of missing link

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for missing link

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for missing link

The first known use of missing link was in 1851

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More Definitions for missing link

missing link


English Language Learners Definition of missing link

: something that you do not have and that you need to complete a series or to solve a problem
: a kind of animal that was in some ways like an ape and in some ways like a human being and that is thought to have existed in the past but has not been discovered

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with missing link

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about missing link

Comments on missing link

What made you want to look up missing link? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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