spe·​ci·​a·​tion ˌspē-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce speciation (audio)
: the process of biological species formation
speciate intransitive verb
ˌspē-shē-ˈā-shnəl How to pronounce speciation (audio)

Examples of speciation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During this speciation event, two ancestral chromosomes may have converged to form what is now chromosome 2 in modern humans. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 31 Aug. 2023 Such extensive speciation means enormous diversity, and bats are nothing if not physically varied. Jeffrey Kluger, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould once argued that the history of life isn’t simply a gradual change in organisms, but punctuated equilibrium: Long, relatively stable periods give way to rapid speciation after some dramatic event flushes away many of Earth’s existing species. Eliot Schrefer, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2020 More time in a place arguably allows plants and animals to specialize in ways that animals on the East Coast have not, leading to more speciation. Soumya Karlamangla, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2023 However, this bottleneck also may have contributed to a speciation event, which happens when two or more species are created from a single lineage. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 31 Aug. 2023 And, not surprisingly, the animals more likely to evolve toxic defenses than to lose them, which makes sense for a trait that spurs speciation. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2015 Among the types of speciation that do, the most important is called allopatric. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023 Evidence of this type of speciation is rather rare. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'speciation.' 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

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of speciation was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near speciation

Cite this Entry

“Speciation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/speciation. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


spe·​ci·​a·​tion ˌspē-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce speciation (audio)
: the formation of a new species (as that occurring as a result of isolation in a geographic area)

More from Merriam-Webster on speciation

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