struggle for existence


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Related to struggle for existence: survival of the fittest

struggle for existence

n
(Biology) (not in technical usage) competition between organisms of a population, esp as a factor in the evolution of plants and animals. See also natural selection

strug′gle for exist′ence


n.
the competition in nature among organisms of a population to maintain themselves in a given environment and to survive to reproduce others of their kind.
[1832]
References in classic literature ?
In the next chapter the Struggle for Existence amongst all organic beings throughout the world, which inevitably follows from their high geometrical powers of increase, will be treated of.
In the struggle for existence, as I have shown, the strong and the progeny of the strong tend to survive, while the weak and the progeny of the weak are crushed and tend to perish.
I do not mean that the adult Martians are unnecessarily or intentionally cruel to the young, but theirs is a hard and pitiless struggle for existence upon a dying planet, the natural resources of which have dwindled to a point where the support of each additional life means an added tax upon the community into which it is thrown.
The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars.
Poe's beauty and talent the young couple had a sorry struggle for existence.
The condition belongs to the geologic age--the great birth and growth of the world, when natural forces ran riot, when the struggle for existence was so savage that no vitality which was not founded in a gigantic form could have even a possibility of survival.
I chose it in a poor and a populous neighbourhood--because the harder the struggle for existence among the men and women about us, the less the risk of their having the time or taking the pains to notice chance strangers who came among them.
Mind, and not muscle, wins in to-day's struggle for existence.
It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence.
It is divided into four sections: adaptation, struggle for existence, natural selection, and evolutionary change.
History repeats itself as unfunny farce when, a century after Roosevelt, another macho president amplifies white fears of losing out in the struggle for existence.
Rather, Spencer thought that humankind would continue to evolve to a more moral and mutually supportive state, and "as they did so, the struggle for existence would gradually and inexorably diminish" (96).