survival of the fittest

noun
1.
(not in technical use) natural selection.
2.
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:
1860–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To survival of the fittest
Collins
World English Dictionary
survival of the fittest
 
n
a popular term for natural selection

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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 wellit'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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;