Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GEOLOGY

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: fossilis 'dug up', from fodere 'to dig'

fossil

noun
     
fossil
fos‧sil [countable]
1HEG an animal or plant that lived many thousands of years ago and that has been preserved, or the shape of one of these animals or plants that has been preserved in rock:
fossils of early reptiles
Marine sponges have a long fossil record (=their development has been recorded over a long period).
living fossil
2 informal an insulting word for an old person
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