ad·​ap·​ta·​tion·​ist ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-sh(ə-)nist How to pronounce adaptationist (audio)
: explaining or seeking to explain the evolution of traits in terms of their adaptive function or survival value
adaptationist noun

Examples of adaptationist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This might seem obvious at a personal level, but Miller explores it from an adaptationist perspective, as a force for the evolution of certain traits. Paul Bloom, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2019 But in 1968, the famed population geneticist Motoo Kimura resisted the adaptationist perspective with his neutral theory of molecular evolution. Quanta Magazine, 8 Nov. 2018 The biologists who most militantly defend the adaptationist Darwinian view of evolution, such as Richard Dawkins, do not gladly suffer dissent. David Dobbs, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2017

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

Word History


adaptation + -ist entry 2

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adaptationist was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near adaptationist

Cite this Entry

“Adaptationist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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