organism

noun
or·​gan·​ism | \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce organism (audio) \

Definition of organism

1 : a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole the nation is not merely the sum of individual citizens at any given time, but it is a living organism, a mystical body … of which the individual is an ephemeral part— Joseph Rossi
2 : an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of parts or organs more or less separate in function but mutually dependent : a living being a multicellular organism

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Other Words from organism

organismic \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈniz-​mik How to pronounce organismic (audio) \ or less commonly organismal \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈniz-​məl How to pronounce organismal (audio) \ adjective
organismically \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈniz-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce organismically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of organism in a Sentence

A human being is a complex organism.

Recent Examples on the Web

Rasgon is concerned that the Scientific Reports paper has fueled unfounded suspicions about GM organisms. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Study on DNA spread by genetically modified mosquitoes prompts backlash," 17 Sep. 2019 After a season of growth, the soil likely contains rotting roots and disease organisms that could affect new plants. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Fungus causes leaf drop in crape myrtles," 14 Sep. 2019 The larvae — teensy maggot-like organisms with an orange hue — were being set aside in the same petri dish. Alicia Petska, Washington Post, "Roanoke College professor researches tiny flying larvae," 13 Sep. 2019 Is there a good mix of fungal organisms and bacteria and protozoa moving around?’’ If so, the team mashes up the feces with water and eucalyptus to make a probiotic milkshake of sorts. BostonGlobe.com, "Scientists look for ways to counter the dietary dilemma of koalas - The Boston Globe," 10 Sep. 2019 According to Darwin, all current organisms are equally evolved and are all still affected by natural selection. Quentin Wheeler, Quartz, "That popular monkey-to-man chart gets evolution all wrong," 4 Sep. 2019 According to Darwin, all current organisms are equally evolved and are all still affected by natural selection. Antonio G. Valdecasas, The Conversation, "Evolution doesn’t proceed in a straight line – so why draw it that way?," 3 Sep. 2019 They're not just edited, all-cow cows—they are genetically modified organisms with DNA from a completely different branch of life. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Part cow, part… bacterium? Biotech company makes heifer of gene-editing blunder," 1 Sep. 2019 This month, space enthusiasts were shocked to learn that an Israeli lunar lander that crashed into the Moon’s surface in April actually had some passengers aboard: a tiny capsule filled with dehydrated microscopic organisms known as tardigrades. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for organism

Last Updated

30 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for organism

The first known use of organism was circa 1774

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More Definitions for organism

organism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of organism

: an individual living thing
: a system with many parts that depend on each other and work together

organism

noun
or·​gan·​ism | \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce organism (audio) \

Kids Definition of organism

: a living thing made up of one or more cells and able to carry on the activities of life (as using energy, growing, or reproducing)

organism

noun
or·​gan·​ism | \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce organism (audio) \

Medical Definition of organism

: an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent : a living being

Other Words from organism

organismic \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈniz-​mik How to pronounce organismic (audio) \ also organismal \ -​məl How to pronounce organismal (audio) \ adjective
organismically \ -​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce organismically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on organism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with organism

Spanish Central: Translation of organism

Nglish: Translation of organism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of organism for Arabic Speakers

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