vestige

noun
ves·tige | \ˈve-stij \

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

b : footprint sense 1

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

Voter trends suggest Republicans may struggle to hold onto their last vestiges of power in the Golden State. Moni Basu, CNN, "Blue state, red valley: In this part of California, a new generation is more woke than ever," 1 June 2018 But at least one vestige of Pruitt’s rocky tenure will continue for the foreseeable future: some of the more than a dozen inquiries into his spending and management practices. Juliet Eilperin And Brady Dennis, Washington Post, "Pruitt is out at EPA, but ethics probes might live on," 9 July 2018 To me, this is a vestige of slavery when black bodies were bought, sold and traded like perishable goods. SFChronicle.com, "We should think deeply about the Alison Ettel viral video — and why it matters," 28 June 2018 Christianizing Native children was considered akin to Americanizing them, the goal being to root out every last vestige of Native identity. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Who Would Jesus Lock Up?," 15 June 2018 Built to house a showroom, offices and storage for the U.S. Tire Co., the ballet’s building is one of the last vestiges of Philadelphia’s automobile row. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "In N. Broad reversal, Pennsylvania Ballet will demolish historic building," 23 May 2018 But Abby remained intensely pained by the vestiges of masculinity in her face. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "The Story of a Trans Woman’s Face," 12 Mar. 2018 With the winds and most of the precipitation abating, Saturday's high tide may be the last vestige of this storm. Eder Campuzano, OregonLive.com, "Portland metro Saturday weather: Wow. It's a great day to go outside," 10 Mar. 2018 Her art retains some vestiges of her previous life. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Pat Miller's Photographic Abstractions," 12 June 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

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: the last small part that remains of something that existed before

: the smallest possible amount of something

vestige

noun
ves·tige | \ˈve-stij \

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 \

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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