exaptation

[eg-zap-tey-shuh n, ek-sap-]

noun Biology.

a process in which a feature acquires a function that was not acquired through natural selection.
a feature having a function for which it was not originally adapted or selected.
a morphological or physiological feature that predisposes an organism to adapt to a different environment or lifestyle.
predisposition toward adaptation.

Nearby words

  1. example,
  2. exanimate,
  3. exanthem,
  4. exanthema,
  5. exanthema subitum,
  6. exaptive,
  7. exarate,
  8. exarch,
  9. exarchate,
  10. exarchy

Related formsex·apt·ed, adjectiveex·ap·tive [eg-zap-tiv, ig-, ek-sap-] /ɛgˈzæp tɪv, ɪg-, ɛkˈsæp-/, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019