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

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Other Words from mutualism

mutualist \ ˈmyü-​chə-​wə-​list How to pronounce mutualist (audio) , ˈmyü-​chə-​list , ˈmyüch-​wə-​list \ noun
mutualistic \ ˌmyü-​chə-​wə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce mutualistic (audio) , ˌmyü-​chə-​ˈli-​ , ˌmyüch-​wə-​ˈli-​ \ adjective

Examples of mutualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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,, "Draymond Green’s Sacrifice Will Keep the Warriors’ Title Window Open," 3 Aug. 2019 As expected, the mutualisms had a destabilizing effect on the system. Quanta Magazine, "How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable," 26 Sep. 2018 Nevertheless, Coyte doesn’t rule out the possibility of the balanced mutualisms that O’Dwyer and Butler modeled. Quanta Magazine, "How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable," 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, "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,, "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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18 Aug 2019

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The first known use of mutualism was in 1845

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

More from Merriam-Webster on mutualism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mutualism Encyclopedia article about mutualism

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