Definition of symbiosis
- the symbiosis … between the resident population and the immigrants
- —John Geipel
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The bird lives in symbiosis with the hippopotamus.
Their professional association was one of symbiosis.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'symbiosis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Symbiosis was adopted by the scientific community in the late 1800s, though it had appeared in English in a non-scientific sense as far back as 1622. When a biological symbiosis is mutually beneficial, it is termed "mutualism." For example, when the yucca moth lays her eggs in the seed pods of the yucca, she acts as pollinator, and when the larvae hatch they feed on some, but not all, of the seeds. When one organism lives off another at the other’s expense, it’s called "parasitism." Either way, living together is what "symbiosis" is all about; the word came to us, via German and New Latin, from the Greek symbiōsis, meaning "state of living together." "Symbiōsis," in turn, traces to "symbios" ("living together"), a combination of syn-, meaning "with," and bios, meaning "life."
biology : the relationship between two different kinds of living things that live together and depend on each other
: a relationship between two people or groups that work with and depend on each other
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