Definition of evolution noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌiːvəˈluːʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌiːvəˈluːʃn//
    ; BrE BrE//ˌevəˈluːʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌevəˈluːʃn//
    [uncountable] Cell biology
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  1. 1(biology) the gradual development of plants, animals, etc. over many years as they adapt to changes in their environment the evolution of the human species Darwin’s theory of evolution See related entries: Cell biology
  2. 2the gradual development of something In politics Britain has preferred evolution to revolution (= gradual development to sudden violent change).
  3. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Latin evolutio(n-) ‘unrolling’, from the verb evolvere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out of’ + volvere ‘to roll’. Early senses related to movement, first recorded in describing a “wheeling” manoeuvre in the realignment of troops or ships. Current senses stem from a notion of “opening out”, giving rise to the sense ‘development’.Extra examples Evolution requires intermediate forms between species. The movement is undergoing an ideological evolution. a book tracing the evolution of the English language competing theories as to how evolution works during the early evolution of animals his evolution from comedian to serious actor organic evolution by natural selection people who reject the theory of evolution the country’s gradual evolution towards democracy the forces that drove the evolution of the European financial system the long-term evolution of ecosystems the parallel evolution of science and art the peaceful evolution to democracy Darwin’s theory of evolution incorporates the principle of natural selection. In politics Britain has preferred evolution to revolution.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: evolution

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