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

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 Simpson, a professor at the University of Arizona who specializes in immunology and exercise physiology, has worked with NASA over multiple missions to learn more about the effects of stress. AZCentral.com, 5 May 2022 To calibrate is to observe the moment-by-moment shifts in the person’s choice of words, unique phrases, verbal and tonal variation, energy shifts, emotional state, body language and physiology. Jedidiah Alex Koh, Forbes, 4 May 2022 The answer to this question depends on a few different factors, including the person’s individual physiology and the severity of their condition. The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 May 2022 Learn how local variations in lifestyle, physiology, socioeconomic factors, and access to health care affect both the construction and fielding of AI systems and the risk of bias. John D. Halamka, STAT, 20 Mar. 2022 In fact, there was little information on female runners’ physiology, period. Emma Zimmerman, Outside Online, 3 Mar. 2022 However, a CT scan shows anatomy, and a stress test reveals physiology -- how blood flows to different areas of the heart at exertion and at rest. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 22 Feb. 2022 Experts in plant physiology, horticulture and optical physics from Israel’s ministry of agriculture and the Weizmann Institute of Science, an ag-tech hub outside Tel Aviv, were also involved in its development, Destler said. Paul Tullis, Bloomberg.com, 16 Feb. 2022 Performance while exercising is mainly determined by cardiovascular function rather than lung function, Dr. Carol Cross, a professor of internal medicine and physiology at University of California at Davis, told ABC News. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 3 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About physiology

Time Traveler for physiology

Time Traveler

The first known use of physiology was in 1615

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near physiology

physiologue

physiology

physiometry

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for physiology

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Physiology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physiology. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for physiology

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

More from Merriam-Webster on physiology

Nglish: Translation of physiology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of physiology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about physiology

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!