Definition of evolution
1 : one of a set of prescribed movements
2a : a process of change in a certain direction : unfoldingb : the action or an instance of forming and giving something off : emissionc (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : growth (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advanced : something evolved
3 : the process of working out or developing
4a : descent with modification from preexisting species : cumulative inherited change in a population of organisms through time leading to the appearance of new forms : the process by which new species or populations of living things develop from preexisting forms through successive generations Evolution is a process of continuous branching and diversification from common trunks. This pattern of irreversible separation gives life's history its basic directionality. — Stephen Jay Gould; also : the scientific theory explaining the appearance of new species and varieties through the action of various biological mechanisms (such as natural selection, genetic mutation or drift, and hybridization) Since 1950, developments in molecular biology have had a growing influence on the theory of evolution. — Nature In Darwinian evolution, the basic mechanism is genetic mutation, followed by selection of the organisms most likely to survive. — Pamela Weintraubb : the historical development of a biological group (such as a race or species) : phylogeny
5 : the extraction of a mathematical root
6 : a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena
evolutionarilyplay \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ə-lē, ˌē-və-\ adverb
evolutionaryplay \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē, ˌē-və-\ adjective
evolutionismplay \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌni-zəm, ˌē-və-\ noun
evolutionistplay \ˌe-və-ˈlü-sh(ə-)nist, ˌē-və-\ noun or adjective
Examples of evolution in a Sentence
changes brought about by evolution
an important step in the evolution of computers
Recent Examples of evolution from the Web
And DeVos’s primary education priority is to expand school choice, including programs that allow public funding to be used for education at private and religious schools, some of which teach that evolution and climate change aren’t real.
That evolution over several years and quarters will determine who’s really in for the long haul.
Market EvolutionBlackRock’s forecast would represent a 39 percent increase in the more than $750 billion market for bond ETFs.
The evolution of containerized shipping changed Southern’s business model and in 2003 the Roundhouse and warehouse closed.
Like most of Sibelius’ symphonies, the Second is concerned with evolution.
This is the evolution going from a bad team to a great team.
Their preferences in color and pattern caused the evolution of different species of seedeater, all with the same behavior and diet, but with males that look different.
Hatred is part of the connective tissue of human evolution, stretching from the savannas of east Africa to the streets of Manchester.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evolution'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of evolution
Latin evolution-, evolutio unrolling, from evolvere
First Known Use: 1616See Words from the same year
EVOLUTION Defined for Kids
Definition of evolution for Students
1 : the theory that the various kinds of existing animals and plants have come from kinds that existed in the past
2 : the process of development of an animal or a plant
Medical Definition of evolution
1: a process of change in a certain direction tumor evolution and progression—I. J. Fidler et al
2a: the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : phylogenyb: a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations
Seen and Heard
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