food chain


Definition of food chain

1 : an arrangement of the organisms of an ecological community according to the order of predation in which each uses the next usually lower member as a food source
2 : a hierarchy based on power or importance at the top of the corporate food chain

Examples of food chain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The player is put into a position of not being the biggest, baddest apex predator on the block (Cleveland describes humans as being about in the middle of the food chain in the world of Subnautica). Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "War Stories: How Subnautica made players love being hunted by sea creatures," 5 June 2019 Two McDonald’s customers who went viral for hanging a poster in a Pearland, Texas, restaurant location have been awarded for their prank with a big payout from the fast food chain. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "McDonald's customers who hung fake poster in restaurant for 51 days get $25G checks from fast food chain," 19 Sep. 2018 The issue is coming up in company boardrooms, though Starbucks is taking the lead among large food chains. CBS News, "Starbucks plans to stop offering plastic straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 Looking forward, Fox declined to disclose which parts of San Diego County might be the next locations for an outpost of Flower Child, the popular, fast casual, healthy food chain at Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade. Michele Parente,, "Fox Restaurant Concepts to add 4 new places in San Diego, 2 at Fashion Valley," 30 June 2018 That could harm the growth of tiny marine organisms, The Post’s Chris Mooney explains, and impact the food chain in other parts of the ocean. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: This is how pipeline companies will seek a pass on Trump tariffs," 12 Mar. 2018 Older, larger fish have higher levels of mercury and PCBs because those contaminants are passed up food chains, from smaller species to bigger ones. Michael Casey, The Seattle Times, "EPA decision soon on chemical compounds tied to health risks," 12 Feb. 2019 Luckily for you, there are several popular restaurants and fast food chains open on New Year's Day to satisfy your avocado toast needs. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "These 28 Restaurants Are Open on New Year's Day," 12 Dec. 2018 Image Dynamite fishing destroys both the food chain and the corals where the fish nest and grow. Aurora Almendral, New York Times, "In the Philippines, Dynamite Fishing Decimates Entire Ocean Food Chains," 15 June 2018

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

1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for food chain

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for food chain

The first known use of food chain was in 1920

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More Definitions for food chain

food chain


English Language Learners Definition of food chain

: a series of types of living things in which each one uses the next lower member of the series as a source of food

food chain


Kids Definition of food chain

: a sequence of organisms in which each depends on the next and usually lower member as a source of food

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