physiology

noun

phys·​i·​ol·​o·​gy ˌfi-zē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce physiology (audio)
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 Tissues preserved in rock can reveal information like the anatomy of the reptile, its physiology, and its skin coloration. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 The results of this algorithm have shown significant differences in oxygen saturation levels between various regions of the eye, providing valuable insights into the physiology and pathology of ocular diseases. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Our physiology, psychology and clothing choices also factor in By Amanda Heidt A cold snap recently gripped the U.S., plunging many states into temperatures far below what is typical for an average winter. Amanda Heidt, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2024 Tamar has a master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Teachers College Columbia University and specializes in working with athletes. Tamar Kane, Ms, Verywell Health, 25 Jan. 2024 That may sound obvious, but too often that idea has informed health care, with male physiology the default for research and treatment. Lucy Perez, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2024 They may be consumed by fish and other aquatic animals, affecting their biochemistry, physiology, reproduction, development or behavior. Judith Weis, The Conversation, 12 Jan. 2024 Personal Experiences Shared by Users Personal experiences with ED medications can vary widely from person to person due to individual differences in physiology and other factors such as age and overall health condition. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2023 The 2023 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to the scientists who made this breakthrough discovery. Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'physiology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of physiology was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near physiology

Cite this Entry

“Physiology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physiology. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

physiology

noun
phys·​i·​ol·​o·​gy ˌfiz-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce physiology (audio)
1
: a branch of biology dealing with the processes and activities by which life is carried on and which are special features of the functioning of living things, tissues, and cells
2
: the life processes and activities of a living thing or any of its parts or of a particular bodily process

Medical Definition

physiology

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

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