physiology

noun
phys·i·ol·o·gy | \ ˌfi-zē-ˈä-lə-jē \

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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Other words from physiology

physiologist \ˌfi-zē-ˈä-lə-jist \ noun

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

Over the past several decades, researchers from a mix of backgrounds—nutrition, psychology, physiology among them—have tested a variety of different diets in short- and long-term settings. Kevin Klatt, SELF, "Why Weight Loss Diets Fail," 26 June 2018 Now, one’s physiology is not a map for one’s psychology. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Physical tendencies reflect our mental states," 5 Apr. 2018 Nevertheless, the problem of mismatched physiologies remains, and many physicians are understandably nervous about calculating the right dosages. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Many Pediatric Studies Are a Waste of Time," 1 Sep. 2017 Then, using data from the micro-CT scans, the team was able to construct a 3-D model of the ancient lizard's physiology. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "World's Oldest Lizard Fossil Found—What You Need to Know," 31 May 2018 So not just the physiology of one athlete but of multiple athletes in one boat. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "I tried to row with the Louisville Cardinals and nearly broke the boat," 11 May 2018 Chronic social stress can also shift the body’s physiology, predisposing people to disease. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 Among these activities are lessons in astronomy, philosophy, art, dance, physiology, aesthetics. Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Piano Institute draws students from around the world for piano and life lessons," 3 July 2018 Mark Russell, a researcher who specializes in applied exercise physiology at Leeds Trinity University in England and collaborates with Arent, agrees on the importance of strength training for soccer performance. Daniel Ackerman, Scientific American, "Avoiding the “Bobblehead Effect”: Strength Training Could Help Soccer Players," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for physiology

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for physiology

The first known use of physiology was in 1615

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More Definitions for physiology

physiology

noun

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 \

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 \
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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