[ vahy-kair-ee-uh ns, vi- ]
/ vaɪˈkɛər i əns, vɪ- /

noun Biology.

the geographical separation and isolation of a subpopulation, resulting in the original population's differentiation as a new variety or species.
Also called vicariance biogeography.


vi·car·i·ant, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for vicariant

/ (vɪˈkɛərɪənt, vaɪ-) /


any of several closely related species, races, etc, each of which exists in a separate geographical area: assumed to have originated from a single population that became dispersed by geological events

Derived forms of vicariant

vicariance, noun

Word Origin for vicariant

C20: from Latin vicārius (see vicar) + -ant
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

Science definitions for vicariant

[ vī-kârē-əns, vĭ- ]

The separation or division of a group of organisms by a geographic barrier, such as a mountain or a body of water, resulting in differentiation of the original group into new varieties or species. See also speciation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.