ecology

noun
ecol·​o·​gy | \ i-ˈkä-lə-jē, 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

ecological \ ˌē-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl , ˌe-​kə-​ \ or less commonly ecologic \ ˌē-​kə-​ˈlä-​jik , ˌe-​kə-​ \ adjective
ecologically \ ˌē-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē , ˌe-​kə-​ \ adverb
ecologist \ i-​ˈkä-​lə-​jist , e-​ \ noun

Examples of ecology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

However, galleries in the middle segment of the market are having a hard time surviving, and if many of them close their doors, that is bad for the ecology of the art world. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Why is art so expensive?," 31 Oct. 2018 Much more stands to be erased in the canal project — entire towns and villages, as well as the ecology of Istanbul’s main water source. New York Times, "A Canal Through Turkey? Presidential Vote Is a Test of Erdogan’s Building Spree," 21 June 2018 But instead of single-mindedly constraining the river at the expense of its ecology, sediment diversions strategically allow the river to act naturally. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 The results likely also apply to humans and other mammals, so Moeller's mice may shed some light on our own internal ecology. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals inherit most of their gut bacteria, new study suggests," 26 Oct. 2018 The complexity of their ecology poses steep challenges to conservationists. Kimbra Cutlip, Smithsonian, "Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter," 28 Feb. 2018 In the past, the delta ecology was mostly overlooked as government officials prioritized flood controls and the region’s economic growth. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 At MarineLab, Art developed a curriculum in coastal marine ecology that continues to evolve. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 5/6," 6 May 2018 This balance of ecology and economy is at the root of a grand transition underway in coastal Louisiana. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for ecology

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ecology

The first known use of ecology was in 1875

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More Definitions for ecology

ecology

noun

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 \

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 \
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 , ˌek-​ə-​ \ also ecologic \ -​ik \ adjective
ecologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

Comments on ecology

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