vestige

noun
ves·​tige | \ ˈve-stij How to pronounce vestige (audio) \

Definition of vestige

1a(1) : a trace, mark, or visible sign left by something (such as an ancient city or a condition or practice) vanished or lost
(2) : the smallest quantity or trace
2 : a bodily part or organ that is small and degenerate or imperfectly developed in comparison to one more fully developed in an earlier stage of the individual, in a past generation, or in closely related forms

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Synonyms for vestige

Synonyms

echo, ghost, relic, shadow, trace

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Choose the Right Synonym for vestige

trace, vestige, track mean a perceptible sign made by something that has passed. trace may suggest any line, mark, or discernible effect. the killer left no traces vestige applies to a tangible reminder such as a fragment or remnant of what is past and gone. boulders that are vestiges of the last ice age track implies a continuous line that can be followed. the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs

Vestige, Trace, and Track

Vestige is derived via Middle French from the Latin noun vestigium, meaning "footstep, footprint, or track." Like trace and track, vestige can refer to a perceptible sign made by something that has now passed. Of the three words, vestige is the most likely to apply to a tangible reminder, such as a fragment or remnant of what is past and gone. Trace, on the other hand, may suggest any line, mark, or discernible effect ("the snowfield is pockmarked with the traces of caribou"). Track implies a continuous line that can be followed ("the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs").

Examples of vestige in a Sentence

a few strange words carved on a tree were the only vestige of the lost colony of Roanoke the fossilized vestige of a dinosaur that traversed that muddy landscape millions of years ago

Recent Examples on the Web

The crowd was a heady mix of colleagues, clients and friends who ran the gamut from fresh-faced décor up and comers to the last vestiges of the Swifty’s set. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "Inside Mario Buatta's Final High Society Farewell," 23 Jan. 2019 In this case those vestiges come with Rick Owens and Balenciaga labels. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Schitt’s Creek Is Giving the Gift of Fashion This Holiday Season—and All 2019 Long," 20 Dec. 2018 That would kill thousands of people, destroy whatever vestiges of political stability remain in the Middle East, and potentially wreak havoc on the global economy — all while likely failing to permanently end Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Trump’s tweet to Iran threatens a war that would in all likelihood be absolutely catastrophic.," 23 July 2018 The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco, the extensive lake and canal system that once connected most of the settlements in the valley, is an incredible vestige of the area's pre-Hispanic past. Condé Nast Traveler, "23 Best Things To Do In Mexico City," 4 Mar. 2018 Ten years on, vestiges of his rah-rah sports spirit remain, if now playing second string to a harder, edgier look directed to Insta-girls. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 2019 The ballot measure has drawn wide support, including from the state’s Democratic and Republican Parties — a sign that Louisiana may finally be ready to eliminate a remaining vestige of the Jim Crow era. German Lopez, Vox, "Louisiana voters will have a chance to strike down a Jim Crow law this November," 19 Oct. 2018 The city’s new mayor, Ravinder S. Bhalla, said on Tuesday that residents had resoundingly approved the replacement of the last vestige of the industrial waterfront with a park. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "Bolstered by Survey, Hoboken Again Says No to Ferry Yard," 30 Jan. 2018 A half-mile further, invisible from this vantage, was Kaliningrad, a last vestige of the superpower that once enveloped Lithuania. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "An Unmissable Summer Holiday in the Baltics," 22 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vestige.' 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 vestige

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for vestige

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin vestigium footstep, footprint, track, vestige

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Statistics for vestige

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for vestige

The first known use of vestige was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for vestige

vestige

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vestige

formal
: the last small part that remains of something that existed before
: the smallest possible amount of something

vestige

noun
ves·​tige | \ ˈve-stij How to pronounce vestige (audio) \

Kids Definition of vestige

: a tiny amount or visible sign of something lost or vanished : trace We stayed outside to enjoy the last vestiges of daylight.

vestige

noun
ves·​tige | \ ˈves-tij How to pronounce vestige (audio) \

Medical Definition of vestige

: a bodily part or organ that is small and degenerate or imperfectly developed in comparison to one more fully developed in an earlier stage of the individual, in a past generation, or in closely related forms

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More from Merriam-Webster on vestige

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vestige

Spanish Central: Translation of vestige

Nglish: Translation of vestige for Spanish Speakers

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