noun, plural in form but singular in construction
cla·​dis·​tics | \ klə-ˈdi-stiks How to pronounce cladistics (audio) , kla- \

Definition of cladistics

: a system of biological taxonomy that defines taxa uniquely by shared characteristics not found in ancestral groups and uses inferred evolutionary relationships to arrange taxa in a branching hierarchy such that all members of a given taxon have the same ancestors

Other Words from cladistics

cladist \ ˈkla-​dist How to pronounce cladistics (audio) , ˈklā-​ How to pronounce cladistics (audio) \ noun
cladistic \ klə-​ˈdi-​stik How to pronounce cladistics (audio) , kla-​ \ adjective
cladistically \ klə-​ˈdi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cladistics (audio) , kla-​ \ adverb

Examples of cladistics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Taking advantage of the latest cladistics tools, one of us (Marsh) tested that hypothesis by identifying hundreds of anatomical features present on each individual skeleton and comparing them with one another. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cladistics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cladistics

1965, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cladistics was in 1965

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Cite this Entry

“Cladistics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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