Vocabulary: atavistic – to go primative


Title: Tinkers
Author: Paul Harding
Sentence: ... [Old Red] who was old enough to remember his own grandfather's stories of raids not on bear or deer but on men, and who, for that reason, was closely watched and quarantined from the supply of rye and whiskey while on any expedition, in case the spirits should spark some atavistic fury.
Page: 151

Word: atavistic
Definition:
  • displaying characteristics of a previous cultural era or of a previous ancestral form; displaying atavism
   Source: Webster Dictionary

According to wikipedia, the word atavism is derived from the Latin atavus. An atavus is a great-great-grandfather or, more generally, an ancestor.

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