survival of the fittest


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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 ?
Survival of the fittest means those with enough access to capital will drive out the less well-funded opposition.
The city also saw an influx of smartlydressed men and women take part in a motorbike ride to raise thousands for charity yesterday - the same day competitors slugged it out in the gruelling 10km obstacle course at Survival of the Fittest.
It's the survival of the fittest" Professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, on Strictly Come Dancing.
Survival of the Fittest, touted as the world's biggest urban obstacle race series, is expecting almost 4,000 people to run, swim, climb and crawl through obstacle after obstacle.
The survival of the fittest is usually applied to humans, especially under the appalling Coalition government who are determined to privatise the NHS.
Pete's "Ten for '10" challenge kicked off with the Hartlepool Five Mile Road Race in March and ended last month with a Men's Health Survival of the Fittest in Nottingham which was approximately 10km with 10 obstacle courses.
They consider Ireland's 19th century, Gustave de Beaumont as Ireland's Alex de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Harriet Martineau, Sir Henry Maine and the survival of the fittest, The Irish Question in Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engel's writings on capitalism and empire, the metaphysical unionism of James Anthony Froude, race theory and the Irish, and Macpherson and Matthew Arnold on Celticism and Ireland.
It was in 2008 that the first Survival of the Fittest took place in Nottingham.
With the recent and timely celebration the other week of the birth of the grandfather of creationism, Charles Darwin, his revolutionary concept of survival of the fittest seems a fitting description of how the global retail markets currently find themselves.
A six-strong team from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the Midlands have been put through their paces competing in the Men's Health 'Survival of the Fittest' challenge to raise money for Mac-Millan Cancer Support.
Surely this is to be encouraged as they are clearly a waste of oxygen, and this would be a prime example of survival of the fittest.
If the rest of us ever change to Paul's way of thinking, we will become a society in which survival of the fittest is the rule.
They're not the only ones in the line-up who like to be up there, so something is going to give and it'll be survival of the fittest. Neither has any ground concerns and both shape as though this marathon trip is within their compass, but I just prefer the chances of Zimbabwe, who has crept in here on 10st compared with Touch Closer on 11st 7lb.
It is a survival of the fittest and it looks like neither Kev nor Louis will back down.
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