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(the) survival of the fittest

1. Literally, the principle theory of evolution that the species that are able to adapt to their environments will continue to survive, while those that don't will ultimately die out. Nowhere do you see the survival of the fittest demonstrated more clearly than this enclosed ecosystem, where each species is in a constant struggle for food and dominance.
2. By extension, the people or things that can best navigate, adapt to, or compete in a difficult or tricky situation or environment will be much more likely to succeed. They always had a mentality of survival of the fittest in that office, putting huge workloads on people and telling those who couldn't cope with the pressure to just find another job. With so many different smartphones on the market, it really is the survival of the fittest right now.
See also: fit, of, survival

survival of the fittest

the idea that the most able or fit will survive (while the less able and less fit will perish). (This is used literally as a principle of the theory of evolution.) In college, it's the survival of the fittest. You have to keep working in order to survive and graduate. I don't give my houseplants very good care, but the ones I have are really flourishing. It's the survival of the fittest, I guess.
See also: fit, of, survival

survival of the fittest

Those best adapted to particular conditions will succeed in the long run, as in They've had to close a dozen of their stores, but the ones in the western part of the state are doing well-it's the survival of the fittest . This phrase was invented by Herbert Spencer in Principles of Biology (1864) to describe Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection of living species. By the early 1900s it was being transferred to other areas.
See also: fit, of, survival

survival of the fittest

the continued existence of organisms which are best adapted to their environment, with the extinction of others, as a concept in the Darwinian theory of evolution.
The phrase was coined by the English philosopher and sociologist Herbert Spencer ( 1820–1903 ) in Principles of Biology ( 1865 ). Besides its formal scientific use, the phrase is often used loosely and humorously in contexts relating to physical fitness (or the lack of it).
See also: fit, of, survival

(the) surˌvival of the ˈfittest

the principle that only the people or things that are best adapted to their surroundings will continue to exist: In this climate of economic recession, many businesses are at risk, and it really is a case of survival of the fittest.
Fittest means ‘most suitable’.
See also: fit, of, survival

survival of the fittest

In the long run the strongest succeed. This phrase was originated by Herbert Spencer (Principles of Biology, 1864) in describing Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. It later was broadened to describe, for example, the success of a well-run corporation compared to failing businesses. The poet Sarah N. Cleghorn, however, pointed out (The Survival of the Fittest, 1917), “‘The unfit die—the fit both live and thrive.’ Alas, who say so? They who do survive.”
See also: fit, of, survival
References in periodicals archive ?
50, there is what we considered to be a poor-quality pocket kit, the Ultimate Survival Kit, sold by Aircraft Spruce (www.
I, a passionate fan of Survival shows, am really looking forward to their upcoming Survival summer project,” says an eager viewer.
10]-transformed), food level, and dry down on angularly transformed percent survival at metamorphosis (during atrazine exposure), after metamorphosis (carryover effect plus density-mediated compensation), and on 13 July 2004 (net atrazine effect; Figure 1).
A history of Brazil's indigenous peoples since the arrival of Europeans, Disinherited contains first-hand testimonies given directly to Survival.
Dividing the $90 million of reserves ($40 million case plus $50 million IBNR) by the average of the last three years of payments ($10 million) yields a survival ratio of 9 ($90 million/$10 million).
Officers interested in receiving the Street Survival Newsline should e-mail their full names, ranks, department names, addresses, and phone numbers to: Newsline@calibrepress.
16) The 'asabiyya dilemma is a primary security imperative constraining and shaping the regime's survival policies.
Furthermore, the investigational status is not based on a lack of data - the five-year survival rate of various categories of liver transplants is known - but is primarily a function of scarce organs.
If survival is predicated on a break in the structures of continuity - if the sense of identity, tradition, and myth has been subjected to cessation or seizure - then the notion of community or group identity (Croce's betes noires) becomes a crucial location for the dialogic practices of art, criticism, and culture.
The two outcome measures of interest in this paper can be described in the terminology of survival analysis.
5 to 3 pounds, delivery methods did not significantly affect overall survival.
com)-- Laura Smith has the elements of survival perfected down to a T.
We show that results from time-series studies are equivalent to estimates obtained from a dynamic population when each individual's survival experience can be summarized as the daily number of deaths.
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