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"
evolution, organic evolution, phylogeny, phylogenesis(noun)
(biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms
gradual directional change especially one leading to a more advanced or complex form; growth; development
The change in the genetic composition of a population over successive generations.
1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:
The extraction of a root from a quantity.
One of a series of ordered movements.
A turning movement of the body.
1869, Anon., Miss Langley's Will:
Origin: From evolutio, from evolutus, perfect passive participle of evolvo, from e, short form of ex, + volvo.
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
a series of things unrolled or unfolded
the formation of an involute by unwrapping a thread from a curve as an evolute
the extraction of roots; -- the reverse of involution
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
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
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
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
Origin: [L. evolutio an unrolling: cf. F. volution evolution. See Evolve.]
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.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
ev-ol-ū′shun, n. the act of unrolling or unfolding: gradual working out or development: a series of things unfolded: the doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower: (arith., alg.) the extraction of roots: (pl.) the orderly movements of a body of troops or of ships of war.—adjs. Evolū′tional, Evolū′tionary, of or pertaining to evolution.—ns. Evolū′tionism, the theory of evolution; Evolū′tionist, one skilled in evolutions or military movements: one who believes in evolution as a principle in science.—adj. Ev′olūtive. [L. evolutionem—evolvĕre.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
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. 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
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
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3862
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4085
Rank popularity for the word 'evolution' in Nouns Frequency: #1572
The numerical value of evolution in Chaldean Numerology is: 8
The numerical value of evolution in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Optimization hinders evolution.
We're simply using the word culture more frequently, it may be a fad. It may not. It may simply be evolution.
We will, however, consider, the possible implications of the proposed interchange fee cap on the evolution of the credit card market.
We're a distribution company and that will not change, In the next phase of our evolution, content will play an important role in helping monetise our distribution assets.
The findings have implications for how we understand animal evolution, by placing Xenoturbella properly in the tree of life we can better understand early animal evolution.
Images & Illustrations of evolution
Translations for evolution
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- извличане, еволюция, развитие, престрояванеBulgarian
- evolucióCatalan, Valencian
- evoluce, vývojCzech
- evolution, udviklingDanish
- Evolution, EntwicklungGerman
- muutos, evoluutio, kehitysFinnish
- השתלשלות, אבולוציה, התפתחותHebrew
- 진화, 進化Korean
- seriēs, prōgressus, ēvolūtiō vītaeLatin
- evolusi, ubah ansurMalay
- evolusjonNorwegian Nynorsk
- эволюция, перестроение, развитие, манёвр, передвижение, [[извлечение]] [[кореньRussian
- еволу́ција, evolúcijaSerbo-Croatian
- පරිණාමයSinhala, Sinhalese
- utveckling, evolutionSwedish
- tiến hóa, 進化Vietnamese
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