saltationism

[ sal-tey-shuh-niz-uh m ]
/ sælˈteɪ ʃəˌnɪz əm /

noun Biology.

any of several theories holding that the evolution of species proceeds in major steps by the abrupt transformation of an ancestral species into a descendant species of a different type, rather than by the gradual accumulation of small changes.

Nearby words

  1. salta,
  2. saltando,
  3. saltant,
  4. saltarello,
  5. saltation,
  6. saltato,
  7. saltatorial,
  8. saltatory,
  9. saltatory conduction,
  10. saltatory evolution

Origin of saltationism

First recorded in 1970–75; saltation + -ism

Related formssal·ta·tion·ist, noun

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