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

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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 last vestiges of lazy days, one last look over the shoulder at what the summer offered. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "U.S. Open: Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff showed that women’s game is in good hands," 2 Sep. 2019 But given their season-long inability to get out of their own way, those probabilities feel unrepresentative of a team that in just eight days went from an inside track on a postseason berth to one that is clinging to the last vestiges of hope. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Is it over for the Red Sox? Here’s what history says," 5 Aug. 2019 In 2014, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations, sweeping away one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1777, France recognized American independence.," 18 Dec. 2019 But for all his success, Rivera was a vestige of when Jerry Richardson owned the team. Ken Belson, New York Times, "Ron Rivera Led the Panthers to a Super Bowl. The Owner Who Fired Him Wasn’t Around Then.," 4 Dec. 2019 Less Training Than a Barber Magistrates are a vestige of America’s colonial past. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, "These Judges Can Have Less Training Than Barbers but Still Decide Thousands of Cases Each Year," 27 Nov. 2019 Their lawyer, Victor Glasberg, said the requirement was a vestige of the state’s Jim Crow era. USA TODAY, "‘Joker’ stairs, migration art, Amazon in politics: News from around our 50 states," 31 Oct. 2019 DeSantis, for his part, praised the president and touted his signature on legislation banning sanctuary cities, putting conservatives on the state Supreme Court, and getting rid of vestiges of Common Core curriculum. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "Whoa! Trump says he’s seen shirtless DeSantis — and he’s really buff," 26 Nov. 2019 As of a few weeks ago, Morales was among the last vestiges of the Pink Tide. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Bolivia’s Evo Morales Wants to Stay in the Game," 20 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for vestige

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

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vestige.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vestige. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for vestige

vestige

noun
How to pronounce vestige (audio)

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

Comments on vestige

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