ol·​i·​go·​tro·​phic ˈä-li-gō-ˈtrō-fik How to pronounce oligotrophic (audio)
: having a deficiency of plant nutrients that is usually accompanied by an abundance of dissolved oxygen
clear oligotrophic lakes

Examples of oligotrophic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because few rivers flow into the Mediterranean, the sea is considered nutrient-starved and described as containing little phytoplanktonic life—oligotrophic in scientific parlance. Paul Greenberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 Luisa Falcón, a microbial ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, has studied oligotrophic microbes all over the world. Allison Keeley, The New Yorker, 12 July 2021 Mashapaug Lake is oligotrophic — largely free of nutrients — so the water is very clear and paddlers can see down about 20 feet. Frank Cohen, courant.com, 18 May 2017

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oligotrophic was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near oligotrophic

Cite this Entry

“Oligotrophic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligotrophic. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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