superorganism

noun

su·​per·​or·​gan·​ism ˌsü-pər-ˈȯr-gə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce superorganism (audio)
: an organized society (as of a social insect) that functions as an organic whole

Examples of superorganism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ants are biological marvels, living in enormous colonies that function as a single superorganism. Emily Anthes Todd Heisler, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2023 In short, the ant raft is a superorganism. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 Mar. 2022 In any case, the striking parallels in Hou's study shows that the life of a superorganism is lorded over by the same numbers that governs the life of a solitary insect. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 18 Jan. 2010 Indeed, Bochynek and co think of it as a superorganism itself. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 22 Oct. 2021 Each individual is part of this human superorganism. Jason Stahl, SPIN, 23 June 2022 The human body is actually a superorganism teeming with bacteria, fungi and hundreds of trillions of viruses. Laura Helmuth, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2020 Their study, carried out over the course of nine days, proved that the stump under scrutiny was still a participating member of the local superorganism. The Economist, 25 July 2019 Trees can clone themselves into 80,000-year-old superorganisms. Ellie Shechet, New York Times, 28 Aug. 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of superorganism was circa 1899

Dictionary Entries Near superorganism

Cite this Entry

“Superorganism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superorganism. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on superorganism

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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