[spee-shee-ey-shuh n, -see-ey-]
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noun Biology.
  1. the formation of new species as a result of geographic, physiological, anatomical, or behavioral factors that prevent previously interbreeding populations from breeding with each other.

Origin of speciation

First recorded in 1895–1900; speci(es) + -ation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for speciation

convergence, speciation

Examples from the Web for speciation

Historical Examples of speciation

British Dictionary definitions for speciation


  1. the evolutionary development of a biological species, as by geographical isolation of a group of individuals from the main stock

Word Origin for speciation

C20: from species + -ation
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

Word Origin and History for speciation

1906; see species + -ation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

speciation in Medicine


[spē′shē-āshən, -sē-]
  1. The evolutionary formation of new biological species, usually by the division of a single species into two or more genetically distinct ones.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

speciation in Science


  1. The formation of new biological species by the development or branching of one species into two or more genetically distinct ones. The divergence of species is thought to result primarily from the geographic isolation of a population, especially when confronted with environmental conditions that vary from those experienced by the rest of the species, and from the random change in the frequency of certain alleles (known as genetic drift). According to the theory of evolution, all life on Earth has resulted from the speciation of earlier organisms. See also adaptive radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.