One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A theory proposed by the Dutch biologist Hugo de Vries according to which new species arise by abrupt divergence from the parent type as a result of mutation.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in The Botanical Gazette. From mutation + theory, after German Mutationstheorie.
mutation theory/mjuːˈteɪʃn ˌθɪəri/
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