[pree-ad-uh p-tey-shuh n]
noun Biology.
  1. a structure or property that developed in an ancestral stock and was useful in a descendant in a changed environment.

Origin of preadaptation

First recorded in 1885–90; pre- + adaptation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preadaptation

Historical Examples of preadaptation

  • Nothing is more wonderful in history than the unmistakable signs and proofs of preadaptation.

    George Muller of Bristol

    Arthur T. Pierson

British Dictionary definitions for preadaptation


  1. biology the possession by a species or other group of characteristics that may favour survival in a changed environment, such as the limblike fins of crossopterygian fishes, which are preadaptation to terrestrial life
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