al·​lo·​sta·​sis ˌa-lō-ˈstā-səs How to pronounce allostasis (audio)
: the process by which a state of internal, physiological equilibrium is maintained by an organism in response to actual or perceived environmental and psychological stressors
Therefore, allostasis is the process that keeps the organism alive and functioning, i.e. maintaining homeostasis or "maintaining stability through change" and promoting adaptation and coping, at least in the short run.Bruce S. McEwen, Neurobiology of Aging, 2002
allostatic adjective
an allostatic state
allostatic systems

Word History


allo- + -stasis

First Known Use

1988, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of allostasis was in 1988

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Cite this Entry

“Allostasis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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