1

relict

noun rel·ict \ ˈre-likt \

Definition of relict

1 : widow
2 : a surviving species of an otherwise extinct group of organisms; also : a remnant of a formerly widespread species that persists in an isolated area
3 a : a relief feature or rock remaining after other parts have disappeared
b : something left unchanged

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Recent Examples of relict from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The oldest English sense of "relict" is extinct-or at least obsolete. In the 16th century, relict meant "an object esteemed and venerated because of association with a saint or martyr," but that meaning is now covered by "relic," a related word that can also refer to something left behind after decay or disappearance. "Relict" was also used to refer to a widow at one time, but now that sense is more or less limited to legal uses. It seems fitting that "relict" has outdated senses; after all, it derives ultimately from the Latin verb relinquere, meaning "to leave behind."

Origin and Etymology of relict

in sense 1, from Middle English relicte, from Late Latin relicta, from Latin, feminine of relictus, past participle of relinquere; in senses 2 & 3, from relict residual, adjective, from Latin relictus


2

relict

adjective

Definition of relict

: of, relating to, or being a relict
  • relict populations

First Known Use of relict

1587


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