noun \ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs, -ˌbī-\

biology : the relationship between two different kinds of living things that live together and depend on each other

: a relationship between two people or groups that work with and depend on each other

plural sym·bi·o·ses\-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of SYMBIOSIS

:  the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms (as in parasitism or commensalism); especially :  mutualism
:  a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups) <the symbiosis…between the resident population and the immigrants — John Geipel>
sym·bi·ot·ic \-ˈä-tik\ adjective
sym·bi·ot·i·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of SYMBIOSIS

  1. The bird lives in symbiosis with the hippopotamus.
  2. Their professional association was one of symbiosis.


New Latin, from German Symbiose, from Greek symbiōsis state of living together, from symbioun to live together, from symbios living together, from syn- + bios life — more at quick
First Known Use: 1622

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, taiga, tundra


noun \ˌsim-ˌbī-ˈō-səs, -bē-\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural sym·bi·o·ses \-ˌsēz\

Medical Definition of SYMBIOSIS

: the living together of two dissimilar organisms in more or less intimate association or close union
: the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship; especially : mutualism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of several living arrangements between members of two different species, including commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism. The species involved are called symbionts. In commensalism, one species (the commensal) obtains nutrients, shelter, support, or locomotion from the host species, which is substantially unaffected (e.g., remoras obtain locomotion and food from sharks). In mutualism, both species benefit. Many mutualistic relationships are obligative; neither species can live without the other (e.g., protozoans in the gut of termites digest the wood ingested by the termites).


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