artificial selection


: selective breeding
Even artificial selection is slow: it takes decades and acres of space to develop just one new cultivar.Jack Fincher

Examples of artificial selection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this regard, humans are no different from the pigs, cattle, and wheat that our farmers subject to artificial selection. Christopher Wills, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Furthermore, embryo selection in humans can resemble artificial selection, giving us the ability to steer the appearance of human traits in future populations. Shawn Walsh, Quanta Magazine, 29 Nov. 2023 But as effective as it’s been, artificial selection is still fairly limited. Shawn Walsh, Quanta Magazine, 29 Nov. 2023 But this is one area where dogs definitely eclipse cats; artificial selection on their wolf ancestor has, of course, produced a dizzying array of sizes, shapes and behaviors. Jerry A. Coyne, Washington Post, 3 May 2023 At the same time, Egyptian paintings show cats of diverse colors and patterns far removed from the familiar tabby — the products of artificial selection by breeders craving novelty. Jerry A. Coyne, Washington Post, 3 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'artificial selection.' 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

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of artificial selection was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near artificial selection

Cite this Entry

“Artificial selection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

artificial selection

: the process of modifying living things (as plants and animals) by selective breeding controlled by human beings
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