sym·​pat·​ric sim-ˈpa-trik How to pronounce sympatric (audio)
: occurring in the same area
: occupying the same geographical range without loss of identity from interbreeding
sympatric species
also : occurring between populations that are not geographically separated
sympatric speciation
compare allopatric
sympatrically adverb
sympatry noun

Examples of sympatric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And among the types of speciation that do not, the most important is called sympatric. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023 These two species are sympatric and exhibit very different behaviors. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Dec. 2011 But other researchers say the research appears to show how sympatric speciation happens—and in this case, happened so quickly. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 25 Mar. 2021

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

Word History


sym- + Greek pátra "native country, homeland" (derivative from the stem of patḗr "father") + -ic entry 1 — more at father entry 1

Note: The word was introduced by the British biologist Edward Bagnall Poulton (1856-1943) in the 1903 Presidential Address to the Entomological Society of London, published in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London for 1903 (London, 1903-04), p. xc.

First Known Use

circa 1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sympatric was circa 1904

Dictionary Entries Near sympatric

Cite this Entry

“Sympatric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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