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survival of the fittest

(not in technical use) natural selection.
a 19th-century concept of human society, inspired by the principle of natural selection, postulating that those who are eliminated in the struggle for existence are the unfit.
Origin of survival of the fittest
1860-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for survival of the fittest
  • When it comes to evolution, survival of the fittest is only half the story.
  • It is survival of the fittest, and it's a fine approach so long as it doesn't happen at the cost of your quality of life.
  • Civilization should not be a matter of survival of the fittest, to put it crudely.
  • In the short term, there will be a survival of the fittest scenario where only the best stores stay afloat.
  • The survival of the fittest applied in society as well as in nature.
  • Not so much survival of the fittest, as survival of the technologically advanced.
  • survival of the fittest refers only to successfully reproducing in a changing environment.
  • The fact that the world has a tendency to reward people based on the survival of the fittest might not warm your heart.
  • survival of the fittest worked for millions of years, and it will continue to keep our population at a natural, sustainable level.
  • He argued that survival of the fittest could result, not only by competing with others, but also by cooperating with others.
British Dictionary definitions for survival of the fittest

survival of the fittest

a popular term for natural selection
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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Idioms and Phrases with survival of the fittest

survival of the fittest

Those best adapted to particular conditions will succeed in the long run, as in They've had to close a dozen of their stores, but the ones in the western part of the state are doing well—it's the survival of the fittest. This phrase was invented by Herbert Spencer in Principles of Biology (1864) to describe Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection of living species. By the early 1900s it was being transferred to other areas.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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