: the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (such as the temperature of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so as to be suitable for life
also : this system regarded as a single organism

Word History

Etymology

after Greek Gaîa, a primordial earth goddess in Greek myth, literally, "earth" — more at geo-

First Known Use

1972, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Gaia was in 1972

Dictionary Entries Near Gaia

Cite this Entry

“Gaia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Gaia. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!