eco·​log·​i·​cal ˌē-kə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce ecological (audio) ˌe-kə- How to pronounce ecological (audio)
variants or less commonly ecologic
: of or relating to the science of ecology
ecological studies
: of or relating to the environments of living things or to the relationships between living things and their environments
The ecological effects of the turf monoculture become even more troubling as large tracts, such as golf courses, displace whole ecosystems in a single stroke.Adelheid Fischer
In every community in nature, each type of organism has its own specialized role to play in what is called an ecological niche.William Threlfall
Rush was scoffing at concerns that the schools of sharks gathering off the coast of Florida might be an indication of some harmful ecological change.Al Franken
The chief of a new environmental protection committee, Fyodor Morgun, blamed the "ill-considered drive to build gigantic plants" for a Pandora's box of ecological problems, including air and water pollution.William R. Doerner et al.
: of or relating to human ecology
Ecological data suggest that in rural areas the availability of family physicians is associated with reduced mortality rate after adjustment for demographic and economic factors.Peter Franks et al.
ecologically adverb
… an ecologically rich river basin … Cultural Survival Quarterly
Sustainable agricultural practices involve making choices that are not only ecologically sound but also economically viable and socially just. Karin Springen

Examples of ecological in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sustainable Textiles The textile industry has long grappled with its ecological footprint. Abdo Riani, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 His works created from 2016 to the present explore social and ecological justice through the lens of Salvadoran communities in L.A. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2023 Foresters are now racing to restore the land with the hope that ghost forests can cut off an ecological ripple that affects hundreds of thousands of people. Ginger Zee, ABC News, 29 Nov. 2023 Perhaps having a child under any circumstances, given the unimaginably high emotional, financial, ecological, and existential stakes, is an act of outrageous presumption. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 Despite their ample means, these high flyers don’t pay the full ecological and economic costs of their luxury transit choice. Chuck Collins, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2023 Preserving kitchen cabinets often makes both financial and ecological sense, but rare is the person who can fully embrace 1990s cupboards. Kathryn O'Shea-Evans, Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2023 Broussard’s proposal would have resulted in one of the biggest land grabs in United States history, along with one of the most disastrous ecological and economic collapses in the world. Sandra Gutierrez, Popular Science, 25 Oct. 2023 With its design ethos and ecological focus, Manapany represents the next wave of Caribbean hotels. Angelina Villa-Clarke, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ecological.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of ecological was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near ecological

Cite this Entry

“Ecological.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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