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gradualism Syllabification: grad·u·al·ism
Pronunciation: /ˈɡraj(əw)əˌlizəm/

Definition of gradualism in English:


1A policy of gradual reform rather than sudden change or revolution.
Example sentences
  • Indeed, it can be argued that a policy of gradualism has served the kingdom well.
  • The author argues for gradualism in change, rather than revolutionary overthrow of current systems.
  • Another issue concerning historical change is that of gradualism as opposed to revolution.
1.1 Biology The hypothesis that evolution proceeds chiefly by the accumulation of gradual changes (in contrast to the punctuationist model).
Example sentences
  • Punctuated equilibrium contradicts the previously held theory of evolutionary gradualism, and certainly raises questions about adaptation, selection and survival of the fittest.
  • Darwinian gradualism and a growing emphasis on large populations accounted for the origins of species.
  • For Dawkins, gradualism musts also fit the empirical facts, and the empirical facts on extinctions, speciation and periods of relative stasis are mounting.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡraj(o͞o)ələst/
Example sentences
  • Nevertheless, for gradualists, who hoped that devolution would provide a workable and stable form of home rule that could endure for years before coming under question, recent developments have been sobering.
  • He can't be a gradualist because he has only got four years.
  • Gore talks about more issues and in general is more of a gradualist.


Pronunciation: /ˌɡrajəwəˈlistik/
Example sentences
  • Since environmental change was gradual, evolution could not help but be gradualistic also.
  • In the final analysis the authors identify key problems with gradualistic evolution of the immune system.
  • I actually had a very interesting opportunity, a head start in a sense, because at that time, these academics were dogmatically teaching the gradualistic theory of evolution as fact.

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Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
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