mu·​tu·​al·​ism | \ ˈmyü-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce mutualism (audio) , 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

Other Words from mutualism

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 That’s an example of mutualism, a term for whenever one animal helps another. Erika Larsen, National Geographic, 1 Oct. 2020 The new study found that there was a mutualism to the behavior. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Aug. 2020 This is an example of mutualism, in which animals of different species work together to meet their individual needs. National Geographic, 14 Feb. 2020 Research has backed up the efficacy of this mutualism: Coyotes and badgers that hunt together are both more effective at getting food. National Geographic, 5 Feb. 2020 Draymond and Golden State are perhaps the best example of mutualism in the basketball world, and both sides should be happy their relationship will continue. Rohan Nadkarni,, 3 Aug. 2019 As expected, the mutualisms had a destabilizing effect on the system. Quanta Magazine, 26 Sep. 2018 Nevertheless, Coyte doesn’t rule out the possibility of the balanced mutualisms that O’Dwyer and Butler modeled. Quanta Magazine, 26 Sep. 2018 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, 9 Mar. 2018

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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Time Traveler for mutualism

Time Traveler

The first known use of mutualism was in 1845

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Dictionary Entries Near mutualism

mutual investment company



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Cite this Entry

“Mutualism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for mutualism


mu·​tu·​al·​ism | \ ˈmyüch-(ə-)wə-ˌliz-əm, ˈmyü-chə-ˌliz- How to pronounce mutualism (audio) \

Medical Definition of mutualism

: mutually beneficial association between different kinds of organisms

Other Words from mutualism

mutualist \ -​ləst How to pronounce mutualism (audio) \ noun
mutualistic \ ˌmyüch-​(ə-​)wə-​ˈlis-​tik, ˌmyü-​chə-​ˈlis-​ How to pronounce mutualism (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on mutualism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mutualism Encyclopedia article about mutualism


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