Darwinism

noun

Dar·​win·​ism ˈdär-wə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce Darwinism (audio)
1
: a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes, and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors compare evolution sense 1, neo-Darwinism
2
: a theory that inherent dynamic forces allow only the fittest persons or organizations to prosper in a competitive environment or situation
economic Darwinism
compare social darwinism
Darwinist noun or adjective

Examples of Darwinism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As social systems crumble, interpersonal trust evaporates, giving rise to a crude, competitive Darwinism. Paula Ramón, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 From the beginning of the 2016 campaign to the present day, a dominant theme has been how, in Trump world, the banal duplicity a person tends to experience in a political operation has reached a kind of baroque late-stage Darwinism. Robert Draper, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 In this game of healthcare industry Darwinism, unicorns are giving way to ponies. Sachin H. Jain, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Mistaken ideas about Darwinism led many Western scholars to believe that civilizations evolved along a linear, hierarchical path, from primitive villages to ancient kingdoms to modern industrial and urban societies. Merilee Grindle, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 Misunderstandings of Darwinism, widely promulgated in the art world, had entrenched the idea that women’s brains were unsuited to high-level creativity. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 11 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Darwinism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Darwinism was in 1860

Dictionary Entries Near Darwinism

Cite this Entry

“Darwinism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Darwinism. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

Darwinism

noun
Dar·​win·​ism ˈdär-wə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce Darwinism (audio)
: a theory explaining the origin and continued existence of new kinds of animals and plants by means of natural selection acting on chance variations

Medical Definition

Darwinism

noun
Dar·​win·​ism ˈdär-wə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce Darwinism (audio)
: a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes, and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors
broadly : a theory of biological evolution
Darwinist noun or adjective

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