food chain

noun

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 Environmentalists say that restoring the apex predators at the top of the food chain helps revive ecosystems, bringing back songbirds and salmon. Los Angeles Times, oregonlive, "26 dead wolves, 1 ranch in the spotlight," 21 Dec. 2019 Hot, hypersaline water kills off the vast sea-grass beds that are the foundation of the food chain. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "The Conservation Fight for Florida Water is Finally Seeing Progress," 6 Dec. 2019 All parts of the food chain were attracted to the reefs, including herbivores, detritivores, planktivores and predatory piscivores, the researchers found. Fox News, "Dying coral reefs could be saved by playing sounds of healthy coral reefs from speakers," 3 Dec. 2019 The ocean also has become more acidic as humans have released higher concentrations of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and that jeopardizes valuable shellfish and the plankton that form the base of the food chain. Patrick Whittle, The Denver Post, "Safeguarding the seas, 1 protected area at a time," 26 Nov. 2019 The ocean also has become more acidic as humans have released higher concentrations of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and that jeopardizes valuable shellfish and the plankton that form the base of the food chain. CBS News, "This small stretch of ocean stirred a conservation movement – but now it's at risk," 26 Nov. 2019 Some of us have begun to change our own lives, pledging to fly less and to eat lower on the food chain. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns," 17 Sep. 2019 What might have seemed like a routine addition to a fast-food chain's lineup quickly turns into a national obsession. Emily Heil, Houston Chronicle, "How 2019 became the Year of the Chicken Sandwich," 24 Dec. 2019 The contamination accumulates up the food chain from small fish to larger fish to humans. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Are Alabama fish safe to eat? Here’s how the state decides," 2 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for food chain

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The first known use of food chain was in 1920

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Statistics for food chain

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Food chain.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/food%20chain. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for food chain

food chain

noun

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

noun

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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