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 (lə-mär′kĭz′əm) also La·marck·i·an·ism (-kē-ə-nĭz′əm)
A theory of biological evolution holding that the changes occurring in an organism through use and disuse of its body parts in response to environmental change are inherited by its offspring.

[After Chevalier Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de Lamarck.]


(Biology) the theory of organic evolution proposed by Lamarck, based on the principle that characteristics of an organism modified during its lifetime are inheritable. See also acquired characteristic, Neo-Lamarckism


(ləˈmɑr kɪz əm)

the Lamarckian theory that characteristics acquired by habit, use, or disuse may be passed on to future generations through inheritance.


the theory of organic evolution advanced by the French naturalist Lamarck that characteristics acquired by habit, diseases, or adaptations to change in environment may be inherited. — Lamarckian, n., adj.
See also: Evolution
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Lamarckism - a theory of organic evolution claiming that acquired characteristics are transmitted to offspring
evolutionism, theory of evolution, theory of organic evolution - (biology) a scientific theory of the origin of species of plants and animals
Neo-Lamarckism - a modern Lamarckian theory emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in genetic changes and retaining the notion of the inheritance of acquired characters
References in periodicals archive ?
Lily only succumbs to darkness after her vision of transcendence, embodied in Lawrence Selden and the Lamarckian inheritance of his blood.
Biologist Paul Kammerer wrote that Lamarckian inheritance offered "a more beautiful and worthy method [to improve humanity] than that advanced by fanatic race enthusiasts, which is based upon the relentless struggle for existence, through race hatred and selection of races, which doubtless are thoroughly distasteful to many" (439, qtd.
Indeed, the authors suggest that not only is Lamarckian inheritance possible, but that epigenetic mechanisms allow it to be placed in a firm molecular framework.