ho·​meo·​sta·​sis | \ˌhō-mē-ō-ˈstā-səs \

Definition of homeostasis 

: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group striving to achieve homeostasis

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Other Words from homeostasis

homeostatic \ˌhō-​mē-​ō-​ˈsta-​tik \ adjective

Examples of homeostasis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Readers will be introduced to the importance of homeostasis—the equilibrium of living things—in termites and their mounds, the microbes in the termite’s gut and the frustrating research into re-creating the termite’s metabolism. Howard Schneider, WSJ, "‘Underbug’ Review: Termites and Us," 23 Aug. 2018 There are no winners and losers in a real friendship; the give-and-take is part of our interpersonal homeostasis. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Ties in Biology, Trump-Pfizer Takeaways, Obamacare Navigator Cuts," 11 July 2018 One of the important characteristics of a system is the perpetual movement toward homeostasis. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ, "Here’s When Family Therapy Can Help," 9 July 2018 On a molecular level, the defended set points for cellular homeostasis are altered. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Autism study questions and answers," 26 May 2017 Unlike my other grade school teachers, who often expressed personal offense when my classmates (never me) were out of line, Ms. DeRoss strove for homeostasis in the classroom and in her own demeanor. Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times, "Weird, wonderful, or both? We asked the newsroom which teachers they’ve changed their minds about," 3 May 2017 But the case for selection can only be definitively made with an experimental study targeted to address the role of these genes in maintaining cholesterol homeostasis. Aatish Bhatia, WIRED, "Milk, meat and blood: how diet drives natural selection in the Maasai," 30 Sep. 2012 Warmer weather leads to more sweating and a greater need for our bodies to maintain homeostasis and a healthy temperature. Amanda Oppenheim, baltimoresun.com, "Summer is a great time to get healthy and enjoy yourself," 27 June 2017

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

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for homeostasis

New Latin

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for homeostasis

The first known use of homeostasis was in 1926

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More Definitions for homeostasis


variants: or British homoeostasis \ˌhō-​mē-​ō-​ˈstā-​səs \

Medical Definition of homeostasis 

: the maintenance of relatively stable internal physiological conditions (as body temperature or the pH of blood) in higher animals under fluctuating environmental conditions also : the process of maintaining a stable psychological state in the individual under varying psychological pressures or stable social conditions in a group under varying social, environmental, or political factors

Other Words from homeostasis

homeostatic or British homoeostatic \-​ˈstat-​ik \ adjective
homeostatically or British homoeostatically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on homeostasis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about homeostasis

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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