organism

noun or·gan·ism \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌni-zəm \
Updated on: 24 Nov 2017

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

organismic

play \ˌȯr-gə-ˈniz-mik\ or less commonly organismal play \ˌȯr-gə-ˈniz-məl\ adjective

organismically

play \ˌȯr-gə-ˈniz-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of organism in a Sentence

  1. A human being is a complex organism.

Recent Examples of organism from the Web

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


ORGANISM Defined for English Language Learners

organism

noun

Definition of organism for English Language Learners

  • : an individual living thing

  • : a system with many parts that depend on each other and work together


ORGANISM Defined for Kids

organism

noun or·gan·ism \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of organism for Students

: 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)

Medical Dictionary

organism

noun or·gan·ism \ ˈȯr-gə-ˌniz-əm \

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

organismic

play \ˌȯr-gə-ˈniz-mik\ also organismal play \-məl\ adjective

organismically

play \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


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