What does the word atavism mean?

Usage examples for atavism

  1. If we are surrendered in love to the purposes of the Spirit, we are committed to the bringing out of the best possible in life; and this is a hard business, involving a quite definite social struggle with evil and atavism, in which some one is likely to be hurt. – The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day by Evelyn Underhill
  2. Shall I explain this by atavism? – Confessions of a Young Man by George Moore
  3. By some quirk of atavism, a certain portion of that early self's language had come down to him as a racial memory. – The Best Psychic Stories by Various