evolution

noun
evo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce evolution (audio) , ˌē-və- \

Definition of evolution

1a : 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 Weintraub
b : the historical development of a biological group (such as a species) : phylogeny
2a : a process of change in a certain direction : unfolding
b : the action or an instance of forming and giving something off : emission
c(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 advance
d : something evolved
3 : the process of working out or developing
4 : the extraction of a mathematical root
5 : a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena
6 : one of a set of prescribed movements

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Other Words from evolution

evolutionarily \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce evolution (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ adverb
evolutionary \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce evolution (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ adjective
evolutionism \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce evolution (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ noun
evolutionist \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce evolution (audio) , 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 on the Web But the simultaneous rise of China and debilitating evolution of partisan conflict within the US have suddenly lent relevance to the question -- and handed Biden a political tool. John Harwood, CNN, "Biden's Wednesday speech will outline his rhetorical endgame," 25 Apr. 2021 But scientists were unsure whether this tinkering could drive the evolution of new species. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Evolution’s Favorite Fish Diversify through ‘Noncoding’ Genes," 23 Apr. 2021 Its imaginative interactive displays explain the evolution of genres from gospel to R&B to hip hop. Andrew Nelson, WSJ, "A Deliciously Diverting Road Trip Through the Deep South," 23 Apr. 2021 Throughout Monday’s episode, the three judges and show mentor, country radio host and TV personality Bobby Bones, pointed out the evolution of the Season 18 contestants over the past year. Washington Post, "‘American Idol’ is asking for controversy with its new twist — and that’s exactly the point," 20 Apr. 2021 For those who have studied the evolution of red flag laws, Mr. Hole may turn out to be a tragic example of their shortcomings. New York Times, "In Indianapolis Shooting, a Red Flag That Never Flew," 18 Apr. 2021 Google announced an update Thursday to the program which will allow users to explore the evolution of a location in timelapse form. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Big update to Google Earth introduces new Timelapse feature," 16 Apr. 2021 That makes the evolution of Legendary's MonsterVerse, which exists concurrently with DC Films in the Warner Bros. release slate, so bemusing. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "How A ‘Shazam Vs. Black Adam’ Movie Might Trump ‘Batman V Superman’," 15 Apr. 2021 Alex Ely, chief investment officer of U.S. growth equity at Macquarie Investment Management, cites the ongoing evolution of the banking industry as a case study in technological disruption. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "How to invest for the 22nd century," 15 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of evolution

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for evolution

Latin evolution-, evolutio unrolling, from evolvere

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Time Traveler for evolution

Time Traveler

The first known use of evolution was in 1616

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Statistics for evolution

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Evolution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for evolution

evolution

noun
evo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce evolution (audio) , ˌē-və- \

Kids Definition of evolution

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

evolution

noun
evo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌev-ə-ˈlü-shən also ˌē-və- \

Medical Definition of evolution

1 : a process of change in a certain direction tumor evolution and progression— I. J. Fidler et al.
2a : 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 also : the scientific theory explaining the appearance of new species and varieties through the action of various biological mechanisms (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
b : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : phylogeny

Other Words from evolution

evolutionarily \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce evolution (audio) \ adverb
evolutionary \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce evolution (audio) \ adjective

Comments on evolution

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