|1.||the policy of seeking to change something or achieve a goal gradually rather than quickly or violently, esp in politics|
|2.||Compare catastrophism the theory that explains major changes in rock strata, fossils, etc in terms of gradual evolutionary processes rather than sudden violent catastrophes|
|gradualism (grāj'-ə-lĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
The theory that new species evolve from existing species through gradual, often imperceptible changes rather than through abrupt, major changes. The small changes are believed to result in perceptible changes over long periods of time. Compare punctuated equilibrium.