co·​evo·​lu·​tion ˌkō-ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce coevolution (audio)
 also  -ˌē-və-
: evolution involving successive changes in two or more ecologically interdependent species (as of a plant and its pollinators) that affect their interactions
coevolutionary adjective
coevolve intransitive verb

Examples of coevolution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Li is currently the founding codirector of Stanford’s Institute of Human-Centered AI (HAI), whose very name is a plea for cooperation, if not coevolution, between people and intelligent machines. Steven Levy, WIRED, 10 Nov. 2023 This cultural-genetic coevolution stacked the deck in human society so that cooperation became the smart move rather than a sucker’s choice. Bob Holmes, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2023 The Marine Corps leadership clearly believes in the power of new weaponry but fails to appreciate the dynamic of war whereby every innovation inspires a countermeasure — and that countermeasure then inspires a counter-countermeasure, in a cycle of continuous coevolution. John F. Schmitt, National Review, 2 Apr. 2022 Over the eons, through the compounded effects of symbiosis and coevolution, forests developed a kind of circulatory system. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2020 There's another neat twist to the experiment that tells a story about coevolution. Sarah Zhang, Discover Magazine, 16 Feb. 2012 The pairing makes for a striking case in coevolution — no other species has been so thoroughly integrated into human society. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2021 This dependent relationship began a long history of coevolution. Markos Kay, National Geographic, 14 Jan. 2021 Researchers believe gazing is a way to communicate social attachment, arising over the millennia of human-dog coevolution. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2015 See More

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

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coevolution was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near coevolution

Cite this Entry

“Coevolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​evo·​lu·​tion ˌkō-ˌev-ə-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce coevolution (audio)
: evolution occurring in two interdependent species (as a flowering plant and a pollinator) in which long-term adaptive changes are influenced by their close interactions

More from Merriam-Webster on coevolution

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