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 Squirrel Week XI starts today with a look at how scientists are comparing the behavior and physiology of urban squirrels with that of their country cousins. Washington Post, "Stress test: Scientists go inside the brains and bloodstreams of squirrels," 10 Apr. 2021 In addition to providing a place where people can see, learn about, and in some cases, interact with animals from all over the world, the zoo delves deep into the fields of molecular genetics, reproductive physiology, and conservation medicine. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "9 of the Best Zoos in the U.S.," 8 Apr. 2021 Liu also attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship and earned a master’s degree in philosophy and physiology. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, "One of these people could be Newsom’s pick for California attorney general," 22 Mar. 2021 With muscle physiology and bone strength typical of vertebrate animals and with a vaguely pterosaurlike quadrupedal build, 800 pounds is probably about the maximum such a creature could weigh while still being able to fly. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, "How to Make a Hippogriff Fly and Other Flights of Fancy," 17 Mar. 2021 And none of the fish that Jasperse and Chernick collected in the past two summers showed signs of regaining their species’ original physiology. Carrie Arnold, The Atlantic, "This Tiny Fish Can Withstand Almost Anything," 15 Mar. 2021 Chu is a professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University and the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jeff Mcmahon, Forbes, "Steven Chu’s 5 Tips For New Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm: Lead With Questions, Find A Watering Hole...," 1 Mar. 2021 On the other side, Roger Brooks, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that the schools do violate Title IX because sports are based in physiology, not gender identity. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Connecticut federal court weighs dismissal of Title IX transgender sports case," 26 Feb. 2021 Personal trainers needed fitness expertise to work there, like martial arts backgrounds, powerlifting accolades or Columbia University physiology degrees. New York Times, "The Way We Worked Out," 24 Feb. 2021

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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Learn More about physiology

Time Traveler for physiology

Time Traveler

The first known use of physiology was in 1615

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Statistics for physiology

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Physiology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physiology. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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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