Meaning of fossil

fos•sil

Pronunciation: (fos'ul), [key]
— n.
  1. any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing of a former geologic age, as a skeleton, footprint, etc.
  2. a markedly outdated or old-fashioned person or thing.
  3. a linguistic form that is archaic except in certain restricted contexts, as nonce in for the nonce, or that follows a rule or pattern that is no longer productive, as the sentence So be it.
—adj.
  1. of the nature of a fossil: fossil insects.
  2. belonging to a past epoch or discarded system; antiquated: a fossil approach to economics.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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