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Meaning of gradualism

grad•u•al•ism

Pronunciation: (graj'-u-liz"um) [key]
— n.
  1. the principle or policy of achieving some goal by gradual steps rather than by drastic change.
  2. a theory maintaining that two seemingly conflicting notions are not radically opposed, but are related by others partaking in varying degrees of the character of both.
  3. a tenet in evolutionary theory maintaining that species evolve slowly and continuously over long periods of geological time. Cf. punctuated equilibrium.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.