missing link


: an absent member needed to complete a series or resolve a problem
: a hypothetical intermediate evolutionary form between humans and their presumed simian progenitors
: 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 So, from the optimal CFO profile perspective, that’s a void or a missing link for me. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 4 Mar. 2024 The bill provision concerning teacher preparation programs has been lauded as a critical missing link. Jackie Valley, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Feb. 2024 For Trina, her memory remains alive and well despite the missing link in their sisterhood. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 22 Jan. 2024 The cinematic missing link between Bruce Willis and Charles Bronson, Statham has been keeping a certain type of genre film alive for close to two decades. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 11 Jan. 2024 Usually, such albums turn out to be overblown in terms of their significance, leaving die-hard fans trying to piece together the ultimate version of a tantalizing missing link in a beloved artist’s catalog from scraps that were never a whole in the first place. Jem Aswad, Variety, 15 Sep. 2023 Ross has been known for decades as the industry’s marquee cover artist, an illustrating legend on the Mount Rushmore of modern superhero artists, the missing link no one was looking for between Norman Rockwell and Spider-Man. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 28 Sep. 2022 Seen through the long lens of history, then, the insurgency that brought Vaughn to the convention rostrum amounts to a missing link in America’s civil rights narrative. Samuel G. Freedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 July 2023 Victoria Beckham has long been the missing link in the recent Spice Girls reunion activities. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 24 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'missing link.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of missing link was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near missing link

Cite this Entry

“Missing link.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/missing%20link. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

missing link

: a form of animal believed to have existed that shares characteristics with one animal group and the ancestors from which the group is thought to have evolved but has not been discovered in the fossil record
find the missing link between humans and apes

More from Merriam-Webster on missing link

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