mutualism

noun
mu·​tu·​al·​ism | \ˈmyü-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm, ˈmyü-chə-ˌli-, ˈmyüch-wə-ˌli-\

Definition of mutualism 

1 : the doctrine or practice of mutual dependence as the condition of individual and social welfare

2 : mutually beneficial association between different kinds of organisms

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Other Words from mutualism

mutualist \ -​list \ noun
mutualistic \ ˌmyü-​chə-​wə-​ˈlis-​tik , ˌmyü-​chə-​ˈlis-​, ˌmyüch-​wə-​ˈlis-​ \ adjective

Examples of mutualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The study, published online ahead of print for the journal Geology, also provides early evidence for mutualism between plants and animals. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Drill, Baby, Drill—in 2028?," 9 Mar. 2018 There’s sort of a little mutualism there between Darwin and Bates, Darwin didn't have the kind of evidence Bates had. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "How Filmmakers Distill Science for the Big Screen," 21 Apr. 2017 If true, the phenomenon could be considered mutualism, Zduniak says—a reciprocal behavior among species that benefits both parties. Nizamettin Yavuz, National Geographic, "Frogs Hitch Ride on Water Buffalo—Never Before Seen," 17 Aug. 2017 Yet as Gary Roemer, an ecologist at New Mexico State University, points out, scientists reserve the concept of mutualism specifically for relationships in which both sides benefit in ways that help them survive. Paul Bisceglio, The Atlantic, "Why Is This Deer Licking This Fox?," 23 Oct. 2017 This is synergy, mutualism and adaptation awaiting rediscovery on the mainland. The New York Times, NOLA.com, "Walter Anderson's Horn Island off Mississippi remains a 'natural reality'," 4 July 2017 This is synergy, mutualism and adaptation awaiting rediscovery on the mainland. The New York Times, NOLA.com, "Walter Anderson's Horn Island off Mississippi remains a 'natural reality'," 4 July 2017 This is synergy, mutualism and adaptation awaiting rediscovery on the mainland. The New York Times, NOLA.com, "Walter Anderson's Horn Island off Mississippi remains a 'natural reality'," 4 July 2017 This is synergy, mutualism and adaptation awaiting rediscovery on the mainland. The New York Times, NOLA.com, "Walter Anderson's Horn Island off Mississippi remains a 'natural reality'," 4 July 2017

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

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of mutualism was in 1845

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More Definitions for mutualism

mutualism

noun
mu·​tu·​al·​ism | \ˈmyüch-(ə-)wə-ˌliz-əm, ˈmyü-chə-ˌliz- \

Medical Definition of mutualism 

: mutually beneficial association between different kinds of organisms

Other Words from mutualism

mutualist \ -​ləst \ noun
mutualistic \ ˌmyüch-​(ə-​)wə-​ˈlis-​tik, ˌmyü-​chə-​ˈlis-​ \ adjective

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mutualism

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