[pree-ad-uh p-tey-shuh n]

noun Biology.

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. 2019

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



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