mac·​ro·​evo·​lu·​tion ˈma-krō-ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce macroevolution (audio)
 also  -ˌē-və-
: evolution that results in relatively large and complex changes (as in species formation)
macroevolutionary adjective

Examples of macroevolution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jon Tennant is currently undertaking a PhD in vertebrate macroevolution in London. Guest Blogger, Discover Magazine, 21 Feb. 2013 During these eras, the need to evolve only arises when the animal’s environment forces them to adapt to new conditions, writes Max T. Stockdale, an expert in vertebrae macroevolution and paleontology and who was involved in the study, in the Conversation. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Jan. 2021 Ecological change provokes speciation and extinction, but our knowledge of the interplay among the biotic and abiotic drivers of macroevolution remains limited. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 20 Apr. 2011 Identifying species and the process by which new species emerge from fossils falls in the realm of macroevolution, or evolution over broad time scales. Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2021 These facts are every bit as solid and universally attested as climate change or macroevolution. Samuel James, National Review, 14 Feb. 2020 Rather, Abzhanov showed that the same forces that shape microevolution — minor alterations within species — also drive macroevolution, the evolution of whole new features and new groups of species. Quanta Magazine, 2 June 2015 See More

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

Word History


macro- + evolution, probably after French macroévolution

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of macroevolution was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near macroevolution

Cite this Entry

“Macroevolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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