evolution

play
noun evo·lu·tion \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən, ˌē-və-\

Definition of evolution

  1. 1 :  one of a set of prescribed movements

  2. 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. 3 :  the process of working out or developing

  4. 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. 5 :  the extraction of a mathematical root

  6. 6 :  a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena

evolutionarily

play \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ə-lē, ˌē-və-\ adverb

evolutionary

play \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē, ˌē-və-\ adjective

evolutionism

play \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌni-zəm, ˌē-və-\ noun

evolutionist

play \ˌe-və-ˈlü-sh(ə-)nist, ˌē-və-\ noun or adjective

Examples of evolution in a Sentence

  1. changes brought about by evolution

  2. an important step in the evolution of computers

Recent Examples of evolution from the Web

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


EVOLUTION Defined for Kids

evolution

play
noun evo·lu·tion \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən, ˌē-və-\

Definition of evolution for Students

  1. 1 :  the theory that the various kinds of existing animals and plants have come from kinds that existed in the past

  2. 2 :  the process of development of an animal or a plant


Medical Dictionary

evolution

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

Medical Definition of evolution

  1. 1:  a process of change in a certain direction tumor evolution and progression—I. J. Fidler et al

  2. 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

evolutionarily

\-shə-ˌner-ə-lē\play adverb

evolutionary

\-shə-ˌner-ē\play adjective


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