physiology

noun
phys·​i·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌfi-zē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce physiology (audio) \

Definition of physiology

1 : a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (such as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved — compare anatomy
2 : the organic processes and phenomena of an organism or any of its parts or of a particular bodily process

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Physiology Has Latin Roots

The Latin root physio- generally means "physical", so human physiology deals with just about everything that keeps us alive and working, and other physiology specialties do the same for other animals and for plants. To do anything serious in the field of health, you've obviously got to know how the body's organs and cells function normally. Physiology used to be considered separately from anatomy, which focuses on the body's structures; however, it's now known that structure and function can't easily be separated in a scientific way, so "anatomy and physiology" are often spoken of in the same breath.

Examples of physiology in a Sentence

She took a course in anatomy and physiology. the physiology of diseased plants
Recent Examples on the Web Throckmorton, who graduated with a 3.82 grade-point average while majoring in human physiology, is one of 19 Oregon football players ever named to the academic All-America team. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Calvin Throckmorton named academic All-Americans," 9 Dec. 2019 Daniels returned to Iowa in the offseason and completed his degree in health and human physiology. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "James Daniels and Cody Whitehair have switched positions, but continuity is still a benefit. A closer look at the Bears offensive line," 1 Aug. 2019 Americans William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza and Britain’s Peter Ratcliffe won the Nobel Prize for advances in physiology or medicine on Monday. Washington Post, "Scientists win Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on lithium-ion battery," 10 Oct. 2019 The hypoxia response affects many aspects of physiology, including conditions such as anemia, cancer, stroke, infection and heart attack. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Discovery of Molecular Switch for How Cells Use Oxygen Wins 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine," 7 Oct. 2019 Led by Matthew McQueen, an associate professor for integrative physiology, the multi-year project is designed to standardize the data collection process that occurs on each campus when athletes sustain head trauma. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Head trauma research: Colorado projects (funded by the Pac-12) aim to reduce, and understand, concussions," 15 Aug. 2019 Led by Matthew McQueen, an associate professor for integrative physiology, the multi-year project is designed to standardize the data collection process that occurs on each campus when athletes sustain head trauma. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Head trauma research: Colorado projects (funded by the Pac-12) aim to reduce, and understand, concussions," 14 Aug. 2019 The oxygen of publicity Those qualities were certainly to the fore in the award of the prize for physiology or medicine. The Economist, "Batteries, exoplanets, cosmology and cell biology win Nobel laurels," 12 Oct. 2019 Today’s announcement means all nine laureates in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine this year are men, worsening an already huge gender gap in the world’s most prestigious science awards. Science News Staff, Science | AAAS, "Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to development of lithium batteries," 9 Oct. 2019

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

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for physiology

Latin physiologia natural science, from Greek, from physi- + -logia -logy

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Time Traveler for physiology

Time Traveler

The first known use of physiology was in 1615

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Statistics for physiology

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Physiology.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physiology. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for physiology

physiology

noun
How to pronounce physiology (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of physiology

: a science that deals with the ways that living things function
: the ways that living things or any of their parts function

physiology

noun
phys·​i·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌfi-zē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce physiology (audio) \

Kids Definition of physiology

1 : a branch of biology that deals with the processes and activities that keep living things alive
2 : the processes and activities by which a living thing or any part of it functions

physiology

noun
phys·​i·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌfiz-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce physiology (audio) \
plural physiologies

Medical Definition of physiology

1 : a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved — compare anatomy sense 1, morphology sense 1
2 : the organic processes and phenomena of an organism or any of its parts or of a particular bodily process the physiology of the thyroid gland
3 : a treatise on physiology

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More from Merriam-Webster on physiology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with physiology

Spanish Central: Translation of physiology

Nglish: Translation of physiology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of physiology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about physiology

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