mutualism

noun

mu·​tu·​al·​ism ˈmyü-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce mutualism (audio)
ˈmyü-chə-ˌli-,
ˈmyüch-wə-ˌli-
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
mutualist
ˈmyü-chə-wə-list How to pronounce mutualism (audio)
ˈmyü-chə-list
ˈmyüch-wə-list
noun
mutualistic
ˌmyü-chə-wə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce mutualism (audio)
ˌmyü-chə-ˈli-
ˌmyüch-wə-ˈli-
adjective

Examples of mutualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The obligate mutualism between the moth and the Joshua tree is limited to a narrow belt where the trees grow best, as neither can survive at high elevations, but the tree cannot reproduce in low elevations either, according to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 14 June 2024 Many species of ants have mutualisms with hemipterans. Lesley Evans Ogden, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Remora fish do indeed have suckers, but the relationship can by characterized as mutualism or symbiosis. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2023 While mutualism brings benefits to both species, commensalism brings benefits to one species while the other is neither helped nor harmed. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for mutualism 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mutualism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mutualism was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near mutualism

Cite this Entry

“Mutualism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mutualism. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

mutualism

noun
mu·​tu·​al·​ism ˈmyüch-(ə-)wə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce mutualism (audio)
ˈmyü-chə-ˌliz-
: association between different kinds of organisms that benefits both

Medical Definition

mutualism

noun
: mutually beneficial association between different kinds of organisms
mutualist noun

More from Merriam-Webster on mutualism

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