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n. (used with a sing. verb)
A system of classification based on the presumed phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of groups of organisms.

cla·dis′tic, cla·dis′ti·cal adj.
cla·dis′ti·cal·ly adv.


(Biology) (functioning as singular) biology a method of grouping animals that makes use of lines of descent rather than structural similarities
[C20: New Latin, from Greek klādos branch, shoot]
cladism n
cladist n


(kləˈdɪs tɪks)

n. (used with a pl. v.)
1. a system of classification of organisms based on the branchings of clades.
2. the study of such systems.
clad•ist (ˈklæd ɪst) n.
cla•dis′tic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cladistics - a system of biological taxonomy based on the quantitative analysis of comparative data and used to reconstruct cladograms summarizing the (assumed) phylogenetic relations and evolutionary history of groups of organisms
taxonomy - (biology) study of the general principles of scientific classification
References in periodicals archive ?
A revision and cladistical analysis of the spider family Pimoidae (Araneoidea: Araneae).
While the proboscis of Ancylorhynchus is clearly distinctive, the condition found in a few species of Scylaticus may well represent an intermediate character state that should perhaps be given greater attention in any future cladistical assessment of relationships between these taxa.
Dikow (2009a)--Included stenoura in a major cladistical study of the Asilidae that involved 158 species, representing 140 genera.