evolution[ev′ə lo̵̅o̅′s̸hən; occas. ē′və-]
- Evolution is defined as the process of growth and development or the theory that organisms have grown and developed from past organisms.
- An example of evolution is how cell phones have changed over time.
- An example of evolution is the theory started by Charles Darwin that theorizes about how humans came to be in their present form.
- an unfolding, opening out, or working out; process of development, as from a simple to a complex form, or of gradual, progressive change, as in a social and economic structure
- a result or product of this; thing evolved
- a movement that is part of a series or pattern
- a pattern produced, or seemingly produced, by such a series of movements: the evolutions of a fancy skater
- a setting free or giving off, as of gas in a chemical reaction
- the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogeny
- Darwinian theory
- Math. the extracting of a root of a given number
Origin of evolutionFr évolutionMil. any of various movements or maneuvers by which troops, ships, etc. change formation
Origin of evolutionClassical Latin evolutio, an unrolling or opening ; from evolutus, past participle of evolvere: see evolve
- a. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.b. A result of this process; a development: Judo is an evolution of an earlier martial art.
- Biology a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, often resulting in the development of new species. The mechanisms of evolution include natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, mutation, migration, and genetic drift.b. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.
- Astronomy Change in the structure, chemical composition, or dynamical properties of a celestial object or system such as a planetary system, star, or galaxy. Evolution often changes the observable or measurable characteristics of the object or system.
- A movement that is part of a set of ordered movements: naval evolutions in preparation for battle.
- Mathematics The extraction of a root of a quantity.
Origin of evolutionLatin ēvolūtiō, ēvolūtiōn-, from ēvolūtus, past participle of ēvolvere, to unroll; see evolve.
- ev′o·lu′tion·al, ev′o·lu′tion·ar′y
Darwinism the theory of evolution by natural selection of those species best adapted to survive the struggle for existence. —Darwinian, n., ad). evolutionism a principle or theory of evolution. —evolutionist, n., adj. Lamarckism the theory of organic evolution advanced by the French naturalist Lamarck that characteristics acquired by habit, diseases, or adaptations to change in environment may be inherited. —Lamarckian, n., adj. Neo-Darwinism the theory that maintains natural selection to be the major factor in plant and animal evolution and denies the possibility of inheriting acquired characteristics. —Neo-Darwinist, n., adj. —Neo-Darwinian, n., adj. Neo-Lamarckism a modern theory based on Lamarckism that states that acquired characteristics are inherited. —Neo-Lamarckian, n., adj. orthogenesis progressive evolution, leading to the development of a new form, as can be seen through successive generations. See also society. —orthogenetic, adj. pangenesis the theory advanced by Darwin, now rejected, that each part of the body is represented in each cell by gemmules, which are the basic units of hereditary transmission. —pangenetic, adj. phylogeny the history of the development of a plant, animal, or racial type. —phylogenist, n. —phylogenetic, adj. primordialism a devotion to the conditions which existed at the beginning of creation. transformism the ability of one species to change into another. —transformist, n. tychism 1. the theory that chance is involved in evolution and that variation within a species is accidental. 2. the belief that chance rather than mere determinism operates in the cosmos. Cf. uniformitarianism. uniformitarianism 1. Philosophy. a doctrine that the universe is governed only by rigid, unexceptionable law. 2. Geology. the concept that current geological processes explain all past geological occurrences. —uniformitarian, n., adj.
- (general) Gradual directional change especially one leading to a more advanced or complex form; growth; development.
- The evolution of the universe began with a bang.
- (biology) The change in the genetic composition of a population over successive generations.
- (chemistry) The act or an instance of giving off gas; emission.
- (mathematics) The extraction of a root from a quantity.
- (military) One of a series of ordered movements.
- (dance, sports) A turning movement of the body.
- (gradual process): revolution