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 And who is the missing link between Marilyn Monroe and Paris Hilton? Lili Anolik, Town & Country, "Once Upon a Time in...Traci Lords's Hollywood," 14 Nov. 2020 Observers agree that the key missing link is good governance, which no amount of investment in security will solve. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Why the Mali coup could worry Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron," 19 Aug. 2020 Tempted to think that his own sense of justice was the missing link, Obama tried to be an impartial arbiter. Mario Loyola, National Review, "Trump’s Middle East Triumph," 13 Aug. 2020 This logic assumes both that ginning up anti-China sentiment can lend itself to a set of broadly progressive goals, and that an essential missing link to achieving them has been the lack of a foreign antagonist. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "We Can’t Fight Climate Change Without China," 12 Aug. 2020 Connecting the Northstar commuter rail line from Target Field to St. Cloud has long been a goal of public transit supporters, but no one knew quite how much the missing link would cost. Janet Moore, Star Tribune, "Study offers ways to connect Northstar rail to St. Cloud," 10 Aug. 2020 Would such a creature prove to be a missing link of some kind? Colin Dickey, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Bigfoot and the ‘Abominable Snowman’ Loom Large in the Human Imagination," 20 July 2020 There are medical reasons other than cartilage that people must undergo knee replacements, but cartilage is often the missing link. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Artificial Cartilage Could Be a Godsend for Our Knees," 7 July 2020 After showcasing the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech and showing great potential in the NFL, Njoku could be a missing link for Kingsbury's offense. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "David Njoku trade: Arizona Cardinals 'most intriguing fit' for Cleveland Browns tight end," 5 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for missing link

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The first known use of missing link was in 1851

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Missing link.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/missing%20link. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on missing link

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about missing link

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