1. A visible trace, evidence, or sign of something that once existed but exists or appears no more: a building that is the area's last vestige of its colonial era.
2. Biology A rudimentary or degenerate, usually nonfunctioning, structure that is the remnant of an organ or part that was fully developed or functioning in a preceding generation or an earlier stage of development.
[French, from Old French, from Latin vestīgium.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.