[ 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 formscla·dis·tic, adjectivecla·dis·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cladistic


/ (kləˈdɪstɪks) /


(functioning as singular) biology a method of grouping animals that makes use of lines of descent rather than structural similarities
Derived Formscladism (ˈklædɪzəm), nouncladist (ˈklædɪst), noun

Word Origin for cladistics

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

Word Origin and History for cladistic



1960, from clade + -istic. Related: Cladistics "systematic classification of life forms" (1965; see -ics).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cladistic


[ klə-dĭstĭks ]

A system of classification based on the presumed phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of groups of organisms, rather than purely on shared features. Many taxonomists prefer cladistics to the traditional hierarchies of Linnean classification systems. Compare Linnean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for cladistic


[ (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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.