Borrowing from Latin ēvolūtiō, ēvolūtiōnis (the act of unrolling, unfolding or opening (of a book)), from ēvolūtus, perfect passive participle of ēvolvō (unroll, unfold), from ex + volvō (roll).



evolution (plural evolutions)

  1. The process of accumulating change.
    Among other forms of change, the evolution of transportation has involved modification, diversification, convergence, divergence, hybridization, differentiation, and naturally, selection.
  2. A progression of change, often branching and diversifying in the process.
    The ongoing evolution of Lolita subculture fashion includes, among other things, the ballet style.
  3. (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.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 4, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      By some paradoxical evolution rancour and intolerance have been established in the vanguard of primitive Christianity. Mrs. Spoker, in common with many of the stricter disciples of righteousness, was as inclement in demeanour as she was cadaverous in aspect.
    • 1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:
      There are some examples of cultural evolution in birds and monkeys, but [] it is our own species that really shows what cultural evolution can do.
    • 2005, Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth:
      Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego.
  4. (biology) The change in the genetic composition of a population over successive generations.
    • 1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:
      [Some books have] made the erroneous assumption that the important thing in evolution is the good of the species (or the group) rather than the good of the individual (or the gene).
    • 2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
      Many genes with reproductive roles also have antibacterial and immune functions, which indicate that the threat of microbial attack on the sperm or egg may be a major influence on rapid evolution during reproduction.
  5. (chemistry) The act or an instance of giving off gas; emission.
  6. (mathematics) The extraction of a root from a quantity.
  7. (military) One of a series of ordered movements.
  8. (dance, sports) A turning movement of the body.
    • 1869, Anon., Miss Langley's Will:
      It was a critical instant: the pirouette -- it would fail, she feared. … the rapid whirl achieved in exact time, the whole evolution executed to perfection.
    • 1825, Theodore Edward Hook, Sayings and Doings: Passion and principle:
      … as he beheld the tenfold pirouette of a lovely girl, which presented to the public eye the whole of her form and figure; … to praise the dexterity and ease with which the unfortunate and degraded creature had performed the ungraceful evolution, the only merit of which, is the gross exposition of person, at which modesty shudders […]
    • 1863, Knightley Willia Horlock, The master of the hounds:
      "Look now, that pirouette -- my stars! how Beauchamp would stare to see his darling perform such an evolution!"
    • 1869, William Clarke, The boy's own book:
      By this operation each foot will describe an arc or segment of a circle. … This evolution is performed sometimes on one foot, sometimes on the other …


Derived terms


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See also

Further reading



evolution c

  1. evolution; development
  2. (biology) evolution


Declension of evolution 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative evolution evolutionen evolutioner evolutionerna
Genitive evolutions evolutionens evolutioners evolutionernas

See also

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