from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In biology, the fact or the doctrine of such modification of specific characters in any organism as suffices to change one species into a different species, whether immediately or in the course of time; transmutation of species (see transmutation, 1).
  • noun In Italian history, the parliamentary situation and the financial and administrative policies and methods which marked the premiership of Agostino Depretis (1876–86). See the extract.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Biol.) The hypothesis, or doctrine, that living beings have originated by the modification of some other previously existing forms of living matter; -- opposed to abiogenesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable the doctrine that living organisms have evolved from previously existing forms of living matter
  • noun countable any particular version of the doctrine of transformism


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Darwin ... from the idea of transformism (?) to the idea of evolution.

    Pharyngula 2009

  • What I will call 'transformism' is a loose category of people who would answer 'yes' to the above question.

    Essentialisms in Biology (II) 2006

  • Are they expert opportunists in the historical tradition of "transformism" in Italian parliamentary governments, which long predates fascism and communism?

    The Band Wagon Arbasino, Alberto 1996

  • Teleology is consistent with both transformism and fixism.

    At What Level did this Evolve? 2009

  • It might help to think in terms of fixity and transformism.

    At What Level did this Evolve? 2009

  • This decline was due in great part to the practice of trasformismo transformism, which the noted Italianist Norman Kogan defines as the “sacrifice of political convictions in the scramble for power, possessions, and honors.”

    Republican transformists - WarEagle01’s blog - RedState 2009

  • In the fourth volume of the Natural History (1753) devoted to the large domestic quadrupeds, Buffon first raised the option of species transformism, only to reject it.

    Evolution Sloan, Phillip 2008

  • Since this article will survey the broad history of these theories, the term ˜transformism™ will generally be used to designate the theory of species change prior to the shift in meaning of the term ˜evolution™ that occurs in the 1860s.

    Evolution Sloan, Phillip 2008

  • The principal axis of Lamarckian transformism is a linear series, realized in time, that moves from simpler forms up a scale of organization to more complex forms.

    Evolution Sloan, Phillip 2008

  • Charles Darwin's version of transformism has been the subject of massive historical and philosophical scholarship almost unparalleled in any other area of the history of science.

    Evolution Sloan, Phillip 2008


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