noun pre·ad·ap·ta·tion \ˌprē-ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən\

Definition of preadaptation

  1. :  a character or the condition of possessing a character that takes on a function when none previously existed or that differs from its original function :  exaptation <This principle of evolution is sometimes called preadaptation. There's no foresight involved, though—simply the lucky coincidence that a feature that evolved to do one thing may turn out later to do another thing even better. — Carl Zimmer> While the newer term exaptation has been widely adopted, preadaptation continues to be acceptable in current usage with both terms showing comparable frequency of usage.


play \ˌprē-ə-ˈdap-təd\ adjective <One hypothesis is that hot-blooded dinosaurs were clothed with feathers for insulation and were therefore preadapted for flight. — Alan Feduccia>


play \ˌprē-ə-ˈdap-tiv\ adjective <preadaptive structures>


First Known Use of preadaptation


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