[nee-oh-dahr-wi-niz-uh m]
noun Biology.
  1. the theory of evolution as expounded by later students of Charles Darwin, especially Weismann, holding that natural selection accounts for evolution and denying the inheritance of acquired characters.
  2. any modern theory of evolution holding that species evolve by natural selection acting on genetic variation.

Origin of neo-Darwinism

First recorded in 1900–05
Related formsne·o-Dar·win·i·an, adjective, nounne·o-Dar·win·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for neo-darwinism

Historical Examples of neo-darwinism

  • We would emphasise that it is not Darwinism we are attacking, but that which is erroneously called Neo-Darwinism.

  • Neo-Darwinism is a pathological growth on Darwinism, which, we fear, can be removed only by a surgical operation.

  • This affords a striking instance of the pernicious influence which Neo-Darwinism is exercising on the minds of men to-day.

  • I had as yet no idea that a writer could attack Neo-Darwinism without attacking evolution.

    Unconscious Memory

    Samuel Butler

British Dictionary definitions for neo-darwinism


  1. the modern version of the Darwinian theory of evolution, which incorporates the principles of genetics to explain how inheritable variations can arise by mutation
Derived FormsNeo-Darwinian, adjective, noun
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

neo-darwinism in Medicine


  1. Darwinism as modified by the findings of modern genetics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

neo-darwinism in Science


  1. Darwinism as modified by the findings of modern genetics, stating that mutations due to random copying errors in DNA cause variation within a population of individual organisms and that natural selection acts upon these variations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.