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[fit-nis] /ˈfɪt nɪs/
capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.
Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
  1. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive age.
  2. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in succeeding generations.
Origin of fitness
1570-80; fit1 + -ness Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fitness
  • Advise undergraduate students in exercise sport science and fitness and wellness management.
  • There are a lot of brain training games that you can play to improve the fitness of your brain.
  • Six tennis courts and a fitness center overlook the cove.
  • She had gone about her business in the college fitness center essentially unnoticed.
  • But a high level of fitness and the willingness to carry a heavy load are a must.
  • Also outside is a network of easy-to-moderate walking trails for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Hikes are always customized to suit the interest and fitness of the hikers.
  • There has been no evidence to show that the herbicide resistance genes will either increase or decrease fitness to date.
  • It's specialized for sure, but given how the fitness crowd likes its gadgets, it could be a winner.
  • What relative deprivation implies for society, relative fitness does for biology.
British Dictionary definitions for fitness


the state of being fit
  1. the degree of adaptation of an organism to its environment, determined by its genetic constitution
  2. the ability of an organism to produce viable offspring capable of surviving to the next generation
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
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Word Origin and History for fitness

1570s, from fit (adj.) + -ness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fitness in Medicine

fitness fit·ness (fĭt'nĭs)

  1. The state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.

  2. A state of general mental and physical well-being.

  3. The state of being suitably adapted to an environment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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