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.

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