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

New fossils will have to fill in the incomplete picture of entomological evolution. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Fossil Beetle Mix-Up Could Rewrite the History of the Largest Family of Animals on Earth," 10 Sep. 2019 China’s evolution into a scientific superpower has altered the politics behind the global movement of scientific talent. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Chinese ties don’t faze European funders," 10 Sep. 2019 Back in Oakland, Gruden awaits the results of Lindsay’s Year 2 evolution in a new offense with clear expectations. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "How Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay can grow after breakout rookie season: “My mindset is grind”," 9 Sep. 2019 Trust me: There’s nothing wimpy about riding the BMW C evolution scoot. Arv Voss, Houston Chronicle, "BMW C evolution: Maxi-scooter with non-liquid juice," 7 Sep. 2019 Clarifying the relationships between these species, confidently characterising their morphology, and deciphering the complex and intricate story about hominin evolution is not a simple task. Hester Hanegraef, Quartz Africa, "The skull of humanity’s oldest known ancestor is changing our understanding of evolution," 7 Sep. 2019 Tigran Hamasyan with special guest Areni Agbabian: Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan embodies the best of jazz’s evolution into an omnivorous international art form. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "SFJazz new lineup is so ridiculously packed you might miss these amazing artists," 4 Sep. 2019 The mother-daughter duo—representatives of two of modeling’s most important eras—has seen the industry’s evolution firsthand. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber Just Joined Vogue’s Forces of Fashion," 4 Sep. 2019 This implied that song complexity and the learning window could influence one another’s evolution, but we had not yet shown that this was the case. Cristina Robinson, The Conversation, "Complex birdsongs help biologists piece together the evolution of lifelong learning," 3 Sep. 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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Last Updated

13 Sep 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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