Definition of phyletic in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Colored lines connect histidine kinase and response regulator proteins belonging to the same signaling pathway or species phyletic cluster.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The second possible mechanism is acceleration or retardation of development in the course of 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.’


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