1. A leaping or jumping. "Continued his saltation without pause." (Sir W. Scott)

2. Beating or palpitation; as, the saltation of the great artery.

3. <biology> An abrupt and marked variation in the condition or appearance of a species; a sudden modification which may give rise to new races. "We greatly suspect that nature does make considerable jumps in the way of variation now and then, and that these saltations give rise to some of the gaps which appear to exist in the series of known forms." (Huxley)

Origin: L. Saltatio: cf. F. Saltation.

(01 Mar 1998)

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