ecology

noun
ecol·​o·​gy | \ i-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce ecology (audio) , e- \
plural ecologies

Definition of ecology

1 : a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments
2 : the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment
4 : environment, climate the moral ecology also : an often delicate or intricate system or complex the ecology of language

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Other Words from ecology

ecologist \ i-​ˈkä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce ecologist (audio) , e-​ \ noun

Examples of ecology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Retention of water by dams in upstream areas of the Mekong River also is seen as contributing to record-low water levels in the river, affecting the region’s ecology. Washington Post, "Thai official warns of water shortages due to weather, dams," 30 Dec. 2019 The demand for housing in California—believers in the dream need a place to sleep at night—has pushed development deeper into the mountain foothills and wild spaces, where the ecology depends on fire. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Waking up from the California Dream," 11 Nov. 2019 Forty third grade students from Mahan Elementary School, in Norwich, were treated to a bird ecology field trip program at the Audubon Center in Pomfret, on Oct. 25. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "A Lesson Plan For The Birds," 4 Nov. 2019 But for those who study the city’s ecology, know that these dolphins are among Mumbai’s regular non-human residents. Aditi Tandon, Quartz India, "Fake news about wild animals reclaiming urban spaces may seem cute, but it’s dangerous," 30 Apr. 2020 Boiling Point is about a whole lot more than the environment and ecology of California, though. Los Angeles Times, "Introducing Boiling Point, a newsletter on climate change, environment and energy," 27 Apr. 2020 Snow ecology is still a relatively new scientific field, partly because scientists took years to realize how much goes on beneath the blanket of flakes. Erin Blakemore, Popular Science, "Snow is the only thing keeping some plants and animals from freezing to death," 31 Jan. 2020 Sediment tells the story In the field of paleo-ecology, researchers take advantage of the fact that, over time, the bottoms of lakes and ponds fill up with mud. Elizabeth Chilton, The Conversation, "Native people did not use fire to shape New England’s landscape," 20 Jan. 2020 Kate Wong Kate Wong is a senior editor for evolution and ecology at Scientific American. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Stone Age String Strengthens Case for Neandertal Smarts," 9 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ecology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ecology

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ecology

German Ökologie, from öko- eco- + -logie -logy

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Time Traveler for ecology

Time Traveler

The first known use of ecology was in 1875

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Statistics for ecology

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ecology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ecology. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for ecology

ecology

noun
How to pronounce ecology (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ecology

: a science that deals with the relationships between groups of living things and their environments
: the relationships between a group of living things and their environment

ecology

noun
ecol·​o·​gy | \ i-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce ecology (audio) \

Kids Definition of ecology

1 : a branch of science concerned with the relationships between living things and their environment
2 : the pattern of relationships between living things and their environment

ecology

noun
ecol·​o·​gy | \ -jē How to pronounce ecology (audio) \
plural ecologies

Medical Definition of ecology

1 : a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments
2 : the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment

Other Words from ecology

ecological \ ˌē-​kə-​ˈläj-​i-​kəl How to pronounce ecological (audio) , ˌek-​ə-​ How to pronounce ecological (audio) \ also ecologic \ -​ik How to pronounce ecologic (audio) \ adjective
ecologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ecologically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on ecology

Spanish Central: Translation of ecology

Nglish: Translation of ecology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ecology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ecology

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