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

Other Words from organism

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

Examples of organism in a Sentence

A human being is a complex organism.
Recent Examples on the Web The more unlike us the other organism or species is, the more inaccessible its internal experience is. Rob Toews, Forbes, 24 July 2022 This is compared against a reference database compiled from large-scale population studies in order to provide a relative indicator of how likely that organism is to develop a disease relative to the average. Wired, 6 July 2022 The secret to treating this organism, Williams explained to mother and daughter, is time. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Capable of growing up to fifty feet tall, this eye-catching organism serves as the earth’s largest bromeliad. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 New Jersey Institute of Technology biologist Simon Garnier, who was also not involved in the study, adds that this work builds on prior investigations of how this organism encodes past experiences. Lars Fischer, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 The music lives; it’s a living, breathing organism. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2022 The Sierra Nevada tree thought to be Earth’s oldest living organism — a 4,853-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine known as Methuselah — has competition. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Together, the trees make up a single organism, named Pando. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 3 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of organism

circa 1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for organism

Time Traveler

The first known use of organism was circa 1774

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Dictionary Entries Near organism

organisation

organism

organismic psychology

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Statistics for organism

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Organism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organism. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for organism

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 organism (audio) \ also organismal \ -​məl How to pronounce organism (audio) \ adjective
organismically \ -​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce organism (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on organism

Nglish: Translation of organism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of organism for Arabic Speakers

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