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noun, sym·bi·o·sis \ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs, -ˌbī-\

Simple Definition of symbiosis

  • 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of symbiosis

plural symbiosesplay \-ˌsēz\

  1. 1 :  the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms (as in parasitism or commensalism); especially :  mutualism

  2. 2 :  a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups) <the symbiosis…between the resident population and the immigrants — John Geipel>

symbiotic play \-ˈä-tik\ adjective
symbiotically play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of symbiosis in a sentence

  1. The bird lives in symbiosis with the hippopotamus.

  2. Their professional association was one of symbiosis.

Did You Know?

Symbiosis was adopted by the scientific community in the late 1800s, though it had appeared in English in a non-scientific sense as far back as 1622. When a biological symbiosis is mutually beneficial, it is termed "mutualism." For example, when the yucca moth lays her eggs in the seed pods of the yucca, she acts as pollinator, and when the larvae hatch they feed on some, but not all, of the seeds. When one organism lives off another at the other’s expense, it’s called "parasitism." Either way, living together is what "symbiosis" is all about; the word came to us, via German and New Latin, from the Greek symbiōsis, meaning "state of living together." "Symbiōsis," in turn, traces to "symbios" ("living together"), a combination of syn-, meaning "with," and bios, meaning "life."

Origin 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

Medical Dictionary


play play
noun sym·bi·o·sis \ˌsim-ˌbī-ˈō-səs, -bē-\

Medical Definition of symbiosis

plural symbioses \-ˌsēz\play play

  1. 1:  the living together of two dissimilar organisms in more or less intimate association or close union

  2. 2:  the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship; especially :  mutualism

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to dishevel or rumple

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