Definition of phyletic in English:



  • Relating to or denoting the evolutionary development of a species or other group.

    ‘phyletic gradualism’
    • ‘Thus, whereas the initial evolution of potential radial folds may have been allopatric, in this case there must have been substantial phyletic evolution following speciation that affected the global population.’
    • ‘Although resolved into few time slices, evidence from Folkestone suggests that the increase in average number of radial folds occurred in progressive steps and is, therefore, best viewed as gradual or incremental, phyletic evolution.’
    • ‘Stanley's complaint is about the inadequacy of phyletic gradualism to account for the known facts of paleontology and the superiority of punctuated equilibria as an explanation for those facts.’
    • ‘Colored lines connect histidine kinase and response regulator proteins belonging to the same signaling pathway or species phyletic cluster.’
    • ‘The second possible mechanism is acceleration or retardation of development in the course of phyletic evolution.’


Late 19th century: from Greek phuletikos, from phuletēs tribesman, from phulē tribe.