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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Dar·win·i·an a.  Pertaining to Darwin; as, the Darwinian theory, a theory of the manner and cause of the supposed development of living things from certain original forms or elements.
 Note:This theory was put forth by Darwin in 1859 in a work entitled “The Origin of species by Means of Natural Selection.” The author argues that, in the struggle for existence, those plants and creatures best fitted to the requirements of the situation in which they are placed are the ones that will live; in other words, that Nature selects those which are to survive. This is the theory of natural selection or the survival of the fittest. He also argues that natural selection is capable of modifying and producing organisms fit for their circumstances. See Development theory, under Development.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 De·vel·op·ment n.  [Written also developement.]
 1. The act of developing or disclosing that which is unknown; a gradual unfolding process by which anything is developed, as a plan or method, or an image upon a photographic plate; gradual advancement or growth through a series of progressive changes; also, the result of developing, or a developed state.
    A new development of imagination, taste, and poetry.   --Channing.
 2. Biol. The series of changes which animal and vegetable organisms undergo in their passage from the embryonic state to maturity, from a lower to a higher state of organization.
 3. Math. (a) The act or process of changing or expanding an expression into another of equivalent value or meaning. (b) The equivalent expression into which another has been developed.
 4. Mus. The elaboration of a theme or subject; the unfolding of a musical idea; the evolution of a whole piece or movement from a leading theme or motive.
 Development theory Biol., the doctrine that animals and plants possess the power of passing by slow and successive stages from a lower to a higher state of organization, and that all the higher forms of life now in existence were thus developed by uniform laws from lower forms, and are not the result of special creative acts. See the Note under Darwinian.
 Syn: -- Unfolding; disclosure; unraveling; evolution; elaboration; growth.