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

SoulCycle has been especially skilled at this new language, at this evolution of intent. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Why the SoulCycle and Equinox controversy hits so close to home for some fans," 9 Aug. 2019 Other thematic threads woven into the film include the evolution of the TV newsmagazine and the power of television to shape opinion — both of the audience and the reporter. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, "Mike Wallace documentary reminds us of journalism’s power — and responsibility," 8 Aug. 2019 Located near Gate 4, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum showcases the evolution of tennis from its medieval origins to the professional sport of the present day. Jaimie Potters, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Experience Wimbledon," 7 Aug. 2019 So strap on in, hit the NOS and take a drive with us through the blazing evolution of the Fast and Furious franchise. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "The supercharged evolution of the ‘Fast & Furious’ films from racing movies to global action flicks," 4 Aug. 2019 In a way, the evolution of the textbook has mirrored that in every other industry. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Radical Transformation of the Textbook," 4 Aug. 2019 Gun-rights groups such as the Buckeye Firearms Association, though, believe local ordinances do little to deter crime and argue For more on the issue, look back at cleveland.com’s series on the evolution of gun laws in Ohio. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Dayton and all other Ohio cities are prohibited by state law from enacting gun-control legislation," 4 Aug. 2019 The evolution of resistance happens in other realms. Robert Gatenby, Scientific American, "Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use," 3 Aug. 2019 Müller’s work lionized the invaders’ northern origins, which dovetailed into the early evolution of Nordicism, the pseudo-anthropological notion of a Nordic master race that would become a cornerstone of Nazi ideology. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 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

16 Aug 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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