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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Houses compete to produce the most eye-catching, inventive and flamboyant show invitations delivered often by gas-guzzling courier to each guest’s personal or professional address with little thought to ecology. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Starry Saint Laurent show in Paris sees models walk on water," 25 Sep. 2018 Which is exactly what’s on the horizon for Potts, and for paleogeologists like Andrew Cohen, a professor of geosciences, ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona who has worked with Potts in the past. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Colored Pigments and Complex Tools Suggest Humans Were Trading 100,000 Years Earlier Than Previously Believed," 16 Mar. 2018 Grassland would likely need continual help pushing out invasive species, says Rebecca Swab, director of restoration ecology at a private Ohio conservation park called The Wilds. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 But more than gee-whiz facts, the book is aligned with Washington state core science-learning standards to step kids through the fundamentals of the ecology of the Salish Sea. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "New children’s book dives deep into the Salish Sea," 23 Apr. 2018 The philosophy stresses a balance between agriculture and a site’s permanent ecology — its soil, water and climate. Kevin Childs, New York Times, "An Australian Environmentalist’s Next Act: ‘Frugal Hedonism’," 13 May 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ecology

Statistics for ecology

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ecology

The first known use of ecology was in 1875

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up ecology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!