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From vicariant +‎ -ance.


vicariance (countable and uncountable, plural vicariances)

  1. (biology) The separation of a group of organisms by a geographic barrier, resulting in differentiation of the original group into new varieties or species.
    • 2018, Hanneke Meijer, The Guardian, 17 May:
      Such an old origin for parts of Sulawesi would explain its unique biota and high species richness; species would have rafted along on these fragments from worlds since long lost (a process known as vicariance).
  2. (geology) The geological event which produces such a barrier (volcano, earthquake, etc)
  3. (psychology, colloquial) The act of experiencing an event by proxy through an empathic link with the person who is experiencing the event firsthand.