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 race or 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 evolutionarily (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ adverb
evolutionary \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce evolutionary (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ adjective
evolutionism \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce evolutionism (audio) , ˌē-​və-​ \ noun
evolutionist \ ˌe-​və-​ˈlü-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce evolutionist (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 The evolution of conspiracy theories isn’t so different. Robin Sloan, The Atlantic, "The Conspiracy Museum," 14 May 2020 Historically, the evolution that the podcast traces is from the fact to the number to data. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "Jill Lepore’s New Podcast Is a Murder Mystery: Who Killed Truth?," 13 May 2020 The evolution of the mythical one-pot dish is as old as cooking itself, beginning way back when our ancestors first threw some ingredients into a pot and lit a fire underneath it. Popular Science, "Easy-to-use multi-cookers for fast, delicious meals," 29 Apr. 2020 In truth, evolution was glacial, requiring years to manifest. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, "Johnson: With Ramsay McCormack 2.0 finally happening, will businesses come to west Birmingham?," 26 Apr. 2020 There’s no ill will at all, Baker says, but the evolution of his decision was complicated. Kim Pierce, Dallas News, "Farm-to-table update: ‘Edible’ goes digital for summer, and artisans rethink business models," 21 Apr. 2020 The evolution of her personality is evident in many of her beauty choices on-screen. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "The Real Reason Kerry Washington Wears A Nose Ring In Little Fires Everywhere," 17 Apr. 2020 In the study, researchers wanted to understand how humans achieved these social and cognitive strides because the evolution is unclear. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ancient humans are having a moment. Here are the fascinating new things we've learned this week about our ancestors," 2 Apr. 2020 But Darwinian evolution is not necessarily all bad, Samuel Paul Veissière, an evolutionary anthropologist and the co-director of the Culture, Mind and Brain Program at McGill University, told me. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Coping, Camaraderie, and Human Evolution Amid the Coronavirus Crisis," 12 Mar. 2020

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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Evolution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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

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Comments on evolution

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