fossil

Definitions

  • American Museum Expedition on the Red Deer River. Fossils secured along the banks were packed and loaded aboard the large scow and floated down the river to the railway station
    American Museum Expedition on the Red Deer River. Fossils secured along the banks were packed and loaded aboard the large scow and floated down the river to the railway station
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj fossil characteristic of a fossil
    • n fossil the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been excavated from the soil
    • n fossil someone whose style is out of fashion
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A rose imprint that was fossilized in a slate was discovered in Florisant, Colorado, which is said to be thirty-five million years old
    • Fossil A person whose views and opinions are extremely antiquated; one whose sympathies are with a former time rather than with the present.
    • Fossil A substance dug from the earth.
    • Fossil Dug out of the earth; as, fossil coal; fossil salt.
    • Fossil (Paleon) Like or pertaining to fossils; contained in rocks, whether petrified or not; as, fossil plants, shells.
    • Fossil preserved from a previous geological age; as, fossil water from deep wells; -- usually implying that the object so described has had its substance modified by long residence in the ground, but also used (as with fossil water) in cases where chemical composition is not altered.
    • Fossil (Paleon) The remains of an animal or plant found in stratified rocks. Most fossils belong to extinct species, but many of the later ones belong to species still living.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The largest spider ever was the Megarachne which had a diameter of 50 cm. The fossil was found in Argentina
    • fossil Dug out of the earth: as, fossil coal; fossil salt.
    • fossil Pertaining to or resembling fossils; preserved by natural inhumation, as an organic body, in form and sometimes in texture: as, fossil shells, bones, or wood. See II., 2.
    • fossil Figuratively, antiquated; superannuated; outgrown; belonging to a past epoch or discarded system: as, a fossil statesman; fossil manners or literature.
    • n fossil Any rock or mineral, or any mineral substance, whether of an organic or of an inorganic nature, dug out of the ground.
    • n fossil Specifically, in later geological and mineralogical use, anything which has been buried beneath the surface of the earth by natural causes or geological agencies, and which bears in its form or chemical composition the evidence that it is of organic origin. Thus, the shell of a mollusk may be preserved unchanged, in both form and chemical composition; or, while retaining its original form, it may have been converted into silica; or it may have disappeared entirely, leaving only a cast as evidence of its former existence; or there may remain only a mold of its interior, formed after the soft parts had entirely decayed: in any of these cases, the specimen or fragment of rock which thus shows by its form that it, either wholly or in part, belonged to an organic body, or that its configuration resulted from the presence of something having had an organized existence, would be properly called a fossil. Even the rocks showing traces of trails, footprints, bored cavities, or other evidences of contact with organic life, are usually designated as fossils. The bones or other remains of species now living on the earth, if buried by any recent catastrophe, such as a flood or landslide, would not, as a general rule, be designated as fossil, but would be called recent. If, however, such an entombment took in prehistoric times, the term fossil would by most geologists be used in describing the occurrence in preference to recent.
    • n fossil Hence, figuratively, one who or something which is antiquated, or has fallen behind the progress of ideas; a person or thing of superannuated or discarded character or quality: as, a curious literary fossil.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Fossilized bird droppings are one of the chief exports of Nauru, an island nation in the Western Pacific
    • n Fossil fos′il the petrified remains of an animal or vegetable found embedded in the strata of the earth's crust: anything antiquated
    • adj Fossil dug out of the earth: in the condition of a fossil: antiquated
    • v.i Fossil to be changed into a stony or fossil state
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Quotations

  • George Santayana
    George%20Santayana
    “Oaths are the fossils of piety.”
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Oliver%20Wendell%20Holmes
    “The older author is constantly rediscovering himself in the more or less fossilized productions of his earlier years.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. fossilis, fr. fodere, to dig: cf. F. fossile,. See Fosse

Usage

In literature:

Dr. Hahn said that he had found fossils in meteorites.
"The Book of the Damned" by Charles Fort
No fossils of any kind were to be seen anywhere, although I looked hard in search of them all the time.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
I am convinced that all our ancient formations, which are rich in fossils, have thus been formed during subsidence.
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin
A most interesting place to visit, but outside the itinerary of most tourists, is the Fossil, or Petrified, Forest.
"Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania" by Jewett Castello Gilson
Fossil shells are found in these slate-rocks.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
FOSSIL FOOTMARKS OF BIRDS.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
The fossil (B), which was found in New Jersey, stands in an intermediate position between the stag and the elk.
"Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3)" by George John Romanes
Quartermaster's Harbor, at the southern end, is a lovely place; and beautiful shells and fossils are to be found there.
"Life at Puget Sound: With Sketches of Travel in Washington Territory, British Columbia, Oregon and California" by Caroline C. Leighton
The wind being off shore, we kept close in with the coast, which consists of high cliffs full of fossils, we were told.
"A Yacht Voyage Round England" by W.H.G. Kingston
It was already cluttered with queer fossils and objects.
"The Planet Strappers" by Raymond Zinke Gallun
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In poetry:

Out of the urn a size of a man
Out of the room the weight of his trouble
Out of the house that holds a town
In the continent of a fossil
"Ballad Of The Long-Legged Bait" by Dylan Thomas
A fossil skeleton, delicate and rare,
A bird (held fast in rock for ages long)
Freed by the quarrymen. I heard the air
Eons ago thrill to its morning song!
"To A Realist" by Maurice Thompson
Thinking 'Sweetness, sweetness.'
Brood cells gray as the fossils of shells
Terrify me, they seem so old.
What am I buying, wormy mahogany?
Is there any queen at all in it?
"Stings" by Sylvia Plath
Now nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see
Than the first six months' proceedings of that same Society,
Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones
That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones.
"The Society Upon The Stanislaus" by Francis Bret Harte
Scant were the gleanings in those years of dearth;
No Cuvier yet had clothed the fossil bones
That slumbered, waiting for their second birth;
No Lyell read the legend of the stones;
Science still pointed to her empty thrones.
"American Academy Centennial Celebration" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage
In a warfare with the remnants of a palaeozoic age;
And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin,
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in.
"The Society Upon The Stanislaus" by Francis Bret Harte

In news:

Some 180 years after unearthing the first human fossil, paleontologists have amassed a formidable record of our forebears.
Fossil discovery complicates Homo sapiens' family tree (+video).
Fossil discovery complicates Homo sapiens ' family tree (+video).
Cutting-edge technologies could help break our fossil-fuel dependence.
Fossilized poop reveals ancient hyena 's main dish.
The earth is warming up because gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), created by burning fossil fuels, are accumulating in the atmosphere.
With a replica of a fossil skeleton at the Museum of Natural History.
John Day Fossil Beds' interpretive center shines light on the past.
Libya's Qaddafi taps 'fossil water' to irrigate desert farms.
How, then, did their fossil remains get sorted into an invariable order in the earth's strata.
Random fossil pile or kraken lair.
Fossils show giant turtles the size of cars that snacked on crocodiles.
The corridors and conference rooms of Laffer Associates' headquarters in Nashville are lined with fossils of ancient animals and photos of dead statesmen.
As a child, Richard Leakey spent many hours—too many, in his opinion—broiling in the sunbaked hills of western Kenya while his famous parents, Louis and Mary, picked away at fossils.
MARY LEAKEY , FOSSIL HUNTER.
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In science:

This is different from the fossil data, where the statistics of large extinction events do not deviate in the upward direction from a τ = 2 power law.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Globular clusters are invaluable fossil records of the early formation history of the galaxy in which they are located.
Wide-Field Imaging from Space of Early-Type Galaxies and Their Globular Clusters
These ob jects may therefore be the best available fossil records of structure formation at early epochs.
Wide-Field Imaging from Space of Early-Type Galaxies and Their Globular Clusters
The establishment of this phase is recorded as a fossil in the Magorrian and MBH − σ relations.
A physically motivated toy model for the BH-spheroid coevolution
We recently reported the firs t discovery of an approximately lognormal CLF (and CMF) for the star clusters in M82’s fossil starburst region “B ”, formed roughly simultaneously in a pronounced burst of cluster formation (de Grijs et al. 2003b; see also Goudfrooij et al. 2004).
Star and cluster formation in extreme environments
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