natural selection

noun

: a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment

Examples of natural selection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Scientists suggest the golden head feathers were rewarded by natural selection, as females chose the most vibrantly colored hybrids to reproduce with. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Mar. 2024 This investment of resources suggests that the benefits of bioluminescence must outweigh its costs for it to have been favored by natural selection. Scott Travers, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Namely, that just as whole animals can be subject to natural selection, where the fit survives better than the less fit, individual germ cells within a developing animal can do the same thing. Quanta Magazine, 21 Feb. 2024 No idea could compete with blood and soil, with natural selection and the evolution of the species. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 8 Feb. 2024 No double-digit lead is big enough for the NBA’s natural selection. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, 5 Jan. 2024 Usually, patterns of natural selection take a long time to emerge. Popular Science, 29 Feb. 2024 After 300 days of growth and natural selection in the lab, the minimal cells could successfully compete against the ancestral bacteria from which they were derived. Quanta Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 Essentially, instead of the typical slow crawl of natural selection, snakes experienced many small changes in quick succession. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'natural selection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of natural selection was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near natural selection

Cite this Entry

“Natural selection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural%20selection. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

natural selection

noun
: a natural process in which individuals or groups best adapted to the conditions under which they live survive and produce young and poorly adapted forms are eliminated

Medical Definition

natural selection

noun
: a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment

More from Merriam-Webster on natural selection

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