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

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 Professor Zhang taught courses on primatology and ecology in the school’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, taking students on field trips to study monkeys. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "Chinese Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment Is Barred From Teaching," 12 July 2018 Changes in agriculture and new infrastructure projects continue to open new pathways for disease, and global processes such as climate change affect the geography and ecology of our planet in dramatic ways. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "How Globalization Changed the Way We Fight Disease," 4 June 2018 Stenglein, who has a doctorate in wildlife ecology from UW, splits her time at the DNR managing Snapshot Wisconsin and serving as a deer research scientist. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Snapshot Wisconsin trail cam project poised to go statewide," 6 July 2018 The women, who asked to be identified, are Kathleen Treseder, professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology; Jessica Pratt, an assistant teaching professor; Benedicte Shipley, an assistant dean; and Michelle Herrera, a graduate student. Teresa Watanabe, latimes.com, "Acclaimed UC Irvine geneticist resigns after committing sexual harassment," 29 June 2018 The decision reversed the district’s opinion in 2014 that the permit would harm the ecology of Silver Springs and the Silver River. Gray Rohrer, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Scott helps donors who pad his campaign accounts, critics say," 13 July 2018 Chinook salmon, such as those that migrate to and from Idaho up the Snake and Columbia rivers, are one of Idaho’s most popular sports fish and integral to the region's economy, ecology and identity. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Symphony of the salmon: How scientists are learning by putting fish migration to music," 9 July 2018 The program employs between four to six inmates at any given time, and participants receive education and training on sheep husbandry, bighorn sheep ecology, wildlife management and related topics. Andy Porter, The Seattle Times, "Domestic sheep program aims to ease problems for bighorns," 26 Apr. 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

14 Nov 2018

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

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