of a body part or organ
: remaining in a form that is small or imperfectly developed and not able to function : being or having the form of a vestige (see vestige 2)
- Kiwis lack an external tail, and their vestigial wings are entirely hidden beneath a curious plumage—shaggy, more like fur than feathers …
- —Stephen Jay Gould
: remaining as the last small part of something that existed before
- It's held in the Gold Room, a vestigial ballroom of the kind that every downtown hotel uses for banquets and conventions.
- —William Zinsser
- Later colonial laws … prohibited even speaking the Pequot language, now long dead but for a few vestigial words.
- —Kirk Johnson