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see atavismatavism
, the appearance in an individual of a characteristic not apparent in the preceding generation. At one time it was believed that such a phenomenon was thought to be a reversion of "throwback" to a hypothetical ancestral prototype.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A synonym of atavism.

(2) In plants with various genotypic components (mottled-leaf plants, chimeras), the appearance of shoots that correspond to one of the components.

(3) In genetics, turning of a mutated gene to a gene of the initial type (reverse, or back, mutation). Like direct mutations, reversion may be spontaneous or artificially induced by various mutagens. The study of reversions in bacteria, bacteriophages, and other microorganisms has led to a better understanding of the mechanism of mutagenesis.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(chemical engineering)
In rubber manufacture, a decrease in rubber modulus or viscosity caused by overworking.
For a series, the process of constructing a new series in which the dependent and independent variables of the original series are interchanged.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Chemical reaction leading to the deterioration of a sealant, backup, or filler; due to moisture trapped behind the sealant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A change in the operating mode. Normally, it refers to control reversion when the mode of operation of control changes from powered to manual operation.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


1. Biology
a. the return of individuals, organs, etc., to a more primitive condition or type
b. the reappearance of primitive characteristics in an individual or group
2. Property law
a. an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor or his heirs at the end of a period, esp at the end of the life of a grantee
b. an estate so reverting
c. the right to succeed to such an estate
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005