Definition of punctuated equilibrium in English:

punctuated equilibrium

noun

Biology
  • [mass noun] The hypothesis that evolutionary development is marked by isolated episodes of rapid speciation between long periods of little or no change.

    • ‘Their views are commonly known as the theory of punctuated equilibrium and contrasted with evolutionary gradualism.’
    • ‘Gould and Eldredge pointed out that the fossil record was one of millions of years of stasis, punctuated by relatively brief periods of rapid change - hence punctuated equilibrium.’
    • ‘We performed the analysis assuming two evolutionary models: Brownian motion and punctuated equilibrium or speciation.’
    • ‘I didn't mention punctuated equilibrium or allopatric speciation either, because it isn't relevant to the matter at hand.’
    • ‘His best-known contribution to evolutionary biology was the theory of punctuated equilibrium that he developed with his colleague Niles Eldridge.’