co·​evo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌkō-ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce coevolution (audio) also -ˌē-və- \

Definition of coevolution

: evolution involving successive changes in two or more ecologically interdependent species (as of a plant and its pollinators) that affect their interactions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from coevolution

coevolutionary \ ˌkō-​ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce coevolutionary (audio) also  -​ˌē-​və-​ \ adjective
coevolve \ ˌkō-​i-​ˈvälv How to pronounce coevolve (audio) , -​ˈvȯlv \ intransitive verb

Examples of coevolution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This relationship kicked off millions of years of coevolution. Jess Romeo, Popular Science, "To remain hidden, these beetles sparkle like jewels," 15 Nov. 2019 Necessary Scientists often turn to bacteria and the bacteriophage viruses that prey on them to learn about coevolution. Quanta Magazine, "Biodiversity Alters Strategies of Bacterial Evolution," 6 Jan. 2020 That two so very distinct personalities have managed to forge an effective partnership is a testament to their years of professional coevolution. Ian Volner, WSJ, "Swiss Architecture Firm Herzog & De Meuron Celebrates 40 Years," 4 Nov. 2018 This memetic competition and coevolution is one reason the media landscape is so dizzying. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Does Facebook Even Know How to Control Facebook?," 31 Oct. 2017 The diversification of flowering plants also has everything to do with their coevolution with insects. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "Why Are There So Many More Species on Land When the Sea Is Bigger?," 12 July 2017 For example, in 2004, evolutionary biologist David Wilkinson used Green Mountain to illustrate that snail-speed coevolution is not always necessary for complex ecosystems to build themselves. National Geographic, "Mysterious Island Experiment Could Help Us Colonize Other Planets," 8 May 2017 This is an an example of coevolution, where two species reciprocally affect each other over evolutionary time. Gwen Pearson, WIRED, "Bee Tongues and Flowers Reveal Evolution in Overdrive," 24 Sep. 2015

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

See More

First Known Use of coevolution

1964, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coevolution

Time Traveler for coevolution

Time Traveler

The first known use of coevolution was in 1964

See more words from the same year

Statistics for coevolution

Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coevolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on coevolution Encyclopedia article about coevolution

Comments on coevolution

What made you want to look up coevolution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!