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

Taiwan has played a central role in the evolution of the extradition law. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Why Taiwan is the most outspoken critic of Hong Kong’s extradition law," 13 June 2019 The selection of music was a masterpiece, with back-to-back settings of the same text by Bach and Brahms providing a miniature lesson in the evolution of music. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, "‘Bach to the Future’: Concert to Make One Feel Lucky to Live in New York," 8 June 2019 But to limit the Bob Larsen story to his role as Keflezighi’s coach is to exclude a fascinating chapter in the evolution of American distance running. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Coach Who Changed Running Forever," 7 June 2019 Rozzi, the director of research specializing in human evolution at France's National Center for Scientific Research in Toulouse, was not involved in the study. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Broke Up with Neanderthals Much Longer Ago Than We Thought," 20 May 2019 Squad depth has been a longstanding issue for the Anfield outfit and with Fabinho and Naby Keita already secured and the likes of Fekir and Roma's Alisson linked to making a move, Shaqiri would be the next step in Liverpool's evolution. SI.com, "Why Xherdan Shaqiri Is the Affordable Attacking Option Liverpool Should Pursue This Summer," 7 June 2018 Buckingham, a singer-songwriter and guitarist, has played an important role in the evolution of Fleetwood Mac, writing some of its greatest hits and influencing the band's sound and direction. Mary Colurso, AL.com, "Fleetwood Mac (minus Lindsey Buckingham) coming to Birmingham in 2019," 25 Apr. 2018 But investors should keep an eye on the market, which is still nascent: the evolution of the assets and their accounting is... Mike Bird, WSJ, "China’s Lending Upswing Will Fuel Hybrid Bond Boom," 15 Apr. 2019 Shields could continue to lead the evolution of women’s boxing the way Ronda Rousey did for MMA and bring the fight game into the mainstream. Dan Gelston, The Seattle Times, "Shields wants to lift women’s boxing into mainstream," 12 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for evolution

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for evolution

The first known use of evolution was in 1616

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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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