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[kluh-dis-tiks] /kləˈdɪs tɪks/
noun, Biology. (used with a plural verb)
classification of organisms based on the branchings of descendant lineages from a common ancestor.
Origin of cladistics
1965-70; cladist(ic) (see clad-, -istic) + -ics
Related forms
cladistic, adjective
cladistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cladistics


(functioning as sing) (biology) a method of grouping animals that makes use of lines of descent rather than structural similarities
Derived Forms
cladism (ˈklædɪzəm) noun
cladist (ˈklædɪst) noun
Word Origin
C20: New Latin, from Greek klādos branch, shoot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cladistics in Science
A system of classification based on the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of groups of organisms, rather than purely on shared features. Many modern taxonomists prefer cladistics to the traditional hierarchies of Linnean classification systems. Compare Linnean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cladistics in Culture
cladistics [(kluh-dis-tiks)]

A method of taxonomic classification that groups organisms according to their lines of evolutionary descent. All descendants of a given organism are called a clade.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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