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Having characteristics regressing to a more primitive type; resembling a distant ancestor. A evolutionary throwback.
The atavistic dew claw in many dog breeds is a simple example of a genetic throwback to an earler stage of dog evolution.

An atavistic example in humans is when babies are born with true tails.

by OneBadAsp November 02, 2006
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Acting like your ancestors, or just a really bloody good word for making your English teachers think that you're a God in English, and how to attract the hot women.
English GSCE: "Mr Hyde has an atavistic nature, acting on his gut instinct."
Pulling hot birds: "Hey babe that top looks highly atavistic ;)."
via giphy
by The Worginator May 14, 2018
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