eco·sys·tem | \ ˈē-kō-ˌsi-stəm , ˈe-kō- \

Definition of ecosystem 

: the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit

Examples of ecosystem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Scientists have found the two substances can be toxic to coral reefs, which are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem and a popular draw for tourists. CBS News, "Hawaii moves to ban sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals," 4 July 2018 Granik’s work in contrast feels like a salve to the kinetic blockbuster that fuels much of Hollywood’s ecosystem. Nicole Sperling, HWD, "The Filmmaker Who Discovered Jennifer Lawrence Has Found a New Star in Leave No Trace," 26 June 2018 GitHub is one of the most essential tools used by software developers today, so Microsoft would be rolling up a crucial part of the ecosystem. Dan Frommer, Recode, "With GitHub, Microsoft would be buying a crucial part of the software ecosystem," 4 June 2018 The beauty of this ecosystem is the range of solutions. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Apple's Restrictions Aren't Helping Tech Addiction," 3 June 2018 Stephens says that signs of animals like gators are good and an indication of a balanced ecosystem. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Sugar Land residents find a seven-foot gator under an SUV," 24 May 2018 As a new resident to the Tucson area, the exploration of this immense ecosystem presented a daunting challenge, especially compared to the lure of perpetual air conditioning in my new home. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "4 Reasons Why You Need To Hike the Sonoran Desert," 2 May 2018 Integral to the ecosystem, the species can eat the diseased remains of animals that might otherwise carry sicknesses, such as hog cholera or anthrax bacteria. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 Depending on the severity and persistence, the blooms can do lasting damage to the ecosystem. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Massive and toxic algae bloom threatens Florida coasts with another lost summer," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ecosystem.' 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 ecosystem

1935, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ecosystem

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for ecosystem

The first known use of ecosystem was in 1935

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English Language Learners Definition of ecosystem

: everything that exists in a particular environment


eco·sys·tem | \ ˈē-kō-ˌsi-stəm , ˈe- \

Kids Definition of ecosystem

: the whole group of living and nonliving things that make up an environment and affect each other


eco·sys·tem | \ -ˌsis-təm \

Medical Definition of ecosystem 

: the complex of a community and its environment functioning as an ecological unit in nature

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More from Merriam-Webster on ecosystem

Spanish Central: Translation of ecosystem

Nglish: Translation of ecosystem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ecosystem for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ecosystem

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an open space surrounded by woods

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