One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Imitation of the poetic style of Erasmus Darwin. rare. Now historical.
2The Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection; = "Darwinism". Also: an analogous theory of development through competition in other spheres; = "Darwinism". In quot. 1883: a Darwinian idiom or phrase.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Edinburgh Review. From Darwinian + -ism.
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