Bau·​plan | \ ˈbau̇-ˌplän How to pronounce Bauplan (audio) \
variants: or bauplan \ ˈbau̇-​ˌplän How to pronounce bauplan (audio) \
plural Bauplans or Baupläne\ ˈbau̇-​ˌplā-​nə How to pronounce Baupläne (audio) \ or bauplans or baupläne

Definition of Bauplan

: the generalized structural body plan that characterizes a group of organisms and especially a major taxon (such as a phylum) All feline species have inherited the unique Bauplan of cats, and cannot deviate from this commonality as they adapt, each in its own particular way.— Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 2002 The results of this study demonstrate that in chelonians, as in mammals and birds, features characteristic of an apparently discrete and highly integrated Bauplan were accumulated gradually and in a precise order.— Michael S. Y. Lee, Science, 24 Sept. 1993 But nobody, and I mean nobody, thinks that evolution has ever been jumpy enough to invent a whole new bauplan in one step.— Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden, 1995 The entire organism encompasses a definable bauplan, and the specific organ systems themselves also encompass describable bauplans; in both cases the structural and functional components of the particular plan establish both capabilities and limits.— Richard C. Brusca and Gary J. Brusca, Invertebrates, 2nd edition, 2003 — compare archetype sense 3a

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First Known Use of Bauplan

1967, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Bauplan

borrowed from German, literally, “building plan,” from Bau “building, structure” + Plan “plan,” borrowed from French

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The first known use of Bauplan was in 1967

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Cite this Entry

“Bauplan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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to constrict the range or activity of

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