Definitions for evolutionˌɛv əˈlu ʃən; esp. Brit. ˌi və-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word evolution

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ev•o•lu•tionˌɛv əˈlu ʃən; esp. Brit. ˌi və-(n.)

  1. any process of formation or growth; development:

    the evolution of the drama.

  2. a product of development; something evolved.

  3. Biol. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. the development of a species or other group of organisms; phylogeny. the theory that all existing organisms developed from earlier forms by natural selection; Darwinism.

    Category: Biology

  4. a process of gradual, progressive change and development, as in a social or economic structure.

    Category: Sociology

  5. a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.

  6. a pattern formed by a series of movements:

    the evolutions of a figure skater.

  7. Math. the extraction of a root from a quantity.

    Category: Math

  8. a military training exercise.

    Category: Military

  9. a movement executed by troops in formation.

    Category: Military



Princeton's WordNet

  1. development, evolution(noun)

    a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)

    "the development of his ideas took many years"; "the evolution of Greek civilization"; "the slow development of her skill as a writer"

  2. evolution, organic evolution, phylogeny, phylogenesis(noun)

    (biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. evolution(noun)ˌɛv əˈlu ʃən; esp. Brit. ˌi və-

    gradual change and development

    the evolution of a new technology

  2. evolutionˌɛv əˈlu ʃən; esp. Brit. ˌi və-

    the belief that living things change and develop over time to suit their environment

    the evolution of man; evolutionary development


  1. evolution(Noun)

    gradual directional change especially one leading to a more advanced or complex form; growth; development

  2. evolution(Noun)

    The change in the genetic composition of a population over successive generations.

    1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:

  3. evolution(Noun)

    The extraction of a root from a quantity.

  4. evolution(Noun)

    One of a series of ordered movements.

  5. evolution(Noun)

    A turning movement of the body.

    1869, Anon., Miss Langley's Will:

  6. Origin: From evolutio, from evolutus, perfect passive participle of evolvo, from e, short form of ex, + volvo.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Evolution(noun)

    the act of unfolding or unrolling; hence, in the process of growth; development; as, the evolution of a flower from a bud, or an animal from the egg

  2. Evolution(noun)

    a series of things unrolled or unfolded

  3. Evolution(noun)

    the formation of an involute by unwrapping a thread from a curve as an evolute

  4. Evolution(noun)

    the extraction of roots; -- the reverse of involution

  5. Evolution(noun)

    a prescribed movement of a body of troops, or a vessel or fleet; any movement designed to effect a new arrangement or disposition; a maneuver

  6. Evolution(noun)

    a general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development

  7. Evolution(noun)

    that theory of generation which supposes the germ to preexist in the parent, and its parts to be developed, but not actually formed, by the procreative act; -- opposed to epigenesis

  8. Evolution(noun)

    that series of changes under natural law which involves continuous progress from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous in structure, and from the single and simple to the diverse and manifold in quality or function. The pocess is by some limited to organic beings; by others it is applied to the inorganic and the psychical. It is also applied to explain the existence and growth of institutions, manners, language, civilization, and every product of human activity. The agencies and laws of the process are variously explained by different philosophrs


  1. Evolution

    Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins. All life on earth is descended from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago. Repeated speciation and the divergence of life can be inferred from shared sets of biochemical and morphological traits, or by shared DNA sequences. These homologous traits and sequences are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct evolutionary histories, using both existing species and the fossil record. Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped both by speciation and by extinction. Charles Darwin was the first to formulate a scientific argument for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Evolution by natural selection is a process that is inferred from three facts about populations: 1) more offspring are produced than can possibly survive, 2) traits vary among individuals, leading to different rates of survival and reproduction, and 3) trait differences are heritable. Thus, when members of a population die they are replaced by the progeny of parents that were better adapted to survive and reproduce in the environment in which natural selection took place. This process creates and preserves traits that are seemingly fitted for the functional roles they perform. Natural selection is the only known cause of adaptation, but not the only known cause of evolution. Other, nonadaptive causes of evolution include mutation and genetic drift.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Evolution

    the theory that the several species of plants and animals on the globe were not created in their present form, but have all been evolved by modifications of structure from cruder forms under or coincident with change of environment, an idea which is being applied to everything organic in the spiritual as well as the natural world. See Darwinian Theory.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. evolution

    1. A word that has reclassified in an entertaining manner our impermeable and eternal ignorance. 2. The growth of a thing from the simple to the complex, and the wasting away of the complex until it is simpler than ever. 3. The one superstition that is cordially hated by theologues.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Evolution

    The process of cumulative change over successive generations through which organisms acquire their distinguishing morphological and physiological characteristics.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A clever trick performed by one Darwin, who made a monkey of Adam.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3862

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4085

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Nouns Frequency: #1572

Translations for evolution

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


gradual working out or development

the evolution of our form of government.

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