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

Making all of this function is the T2 chip, a now-integral part of the Mac hardware and software ecosystem that Apple says enables all sorts of critical security functions. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Apple confirms its T2 security chip blocks some third-party repairs of new Macs," 12 Nov. 2018 That practice will continue, according to Ian Smythe, responsible for ecosystem marketing for the client businesses for ARM. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "ARM challenges Intel in PCs with Deimos and Hercules chips," 16 Aug. 2018 In the end, the biggest enemy of island and coral ecosystems isn’t rats, but humans—we’re the ones that transplant the things, and pollute the oceans, and warm the atmosphere. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Rats! Coral Reefs Aren't Getting the Bird Poop They Need," 11 July 2018 But figuring out the exact right ecosystem for Rondo to thrive could ultimately make his signing more costly than initially intended. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Buyer Beware: Five Pricey Free Agents to Avoid," 27 June 2018 The consumer-electronics giant uses unique accessories like the AirPods to round out its hardware and software ecosystem. Mark Gurman,, "Apple to Unveil High-End AirPods, Over-Ear Headphones For 2019," 25 June 2018 In addition, dinosaurs lived in ecosystems that have no modern analogues, Maidment says. National Geographic, "Could Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist? Here's the Science.," 22 June 2018 The authors say funding sources are often insufficient to cover these expenses, limiting scientists from collecting enough data to understand how Arctic ecosystems are responding to climate change. Hannah Hoag, Science | AAAS, "Fieldwork in the Arctic is surprisingly costly, limiting the research done there," 18 June 2018 Crawling across American forests, a secretive horde of amphibians protects vast ecosystems. Geoffrey Giller, Discover Magazine, "The Salamander Army," 15 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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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ecosystem

The first known use of ecosystem was in 1935

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More Definitions for ecosystem



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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