What does evolution mean?

Definitions for evolution
ˌɛv əˈlu ʃən; esp. Brit. ˌi və-evo·lu·tion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word evolution.

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


  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

  9. Origin: [L. evolutio an unrolling: cf. F. volution evolution. See Evolve.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Evolution

    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. evolutionemevolvĕre.]

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.

Suggested Resources

  1. evolution

    Song lyrics by evolution -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by evolution on the Lyrics.com website.

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

How to pronounce evolution?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say evolution in sign language?

  1. evolution


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of evolution in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of evolution in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of evolution in a Sentence

  1. Anonymous:

    Optimization hinders evolution.

  2. Steven Adair:

    It's a real evolution in targeting.

  3. Adrian Frampton:

    Evolution must have your choice,choose joy.

  4. Adam Schultz:

    This is the evolution of this kind of technology.

  5. Steven Wright:

    My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted.

Images & Illustrations of evolution

  1. evolutionevolutionevolutionevolutionevolution

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for evolution

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