One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A petrified human body, or part of one; a fossil of (supposedly) human origin. Also: a human figure made of stone; figurative a person without feelings or emotions.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in William Turton (1762–1835), conchologist. From anthropo- + -lith, originally after post-classical Latin Anthropolithus.
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