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[koh-ev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, -ee-vuh-] /ˌkoʊ ɛv əˈlu ʃən or, esp. British, -i və-/
evolution involving a series of reciprocal changes in two or more noninterbreeding populations that have a close ecological relationship and act as agents of natural selection for each other, as the succession of adaptations of a predator for pursuing and of its prey for fleeing or evading.
Origin of coevolution
First recorded in 1960-65; co- + evolution
Related forms
coevolutionary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for coevolution


the evolution of complementary adaptations in two or more species of organisms because of a special relationship that exists between them, as in insect-pollinated plants and their insect pollinators
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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Word Origin and History for coevolution

also co-evolution, 1965, from co- + evolution; supposedly introduced by Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven in a study of the relationship between caterpillars and plants.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coevolution in Science
The evolution of two or more species that interact closely with one another, with each species adapting to changes in the other. The mutually beneficial development of flowering plants and insects such as bees and butterflies that pollinate them is an example of coevolution, as is the mutually antagonistic development of prey and predator species in which defensive adaptations in the one are matched by counteradaptations in the other aimed at neutralizing or overcoming them.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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coevolution in Culture

coevolution definition

The process that occurs when two species influence each other during evolution. For example, an insect may evolve specialized parts that allow it to feed on a specific flower, whereas the flower evolves to facilitate pollination by that particular insect.

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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