sym·​pat·​ric | \ sim-ˈpa-trik How to pronounce sympatric (audio) \

Definition of sympatric

1 : occurring in the same area
2 : 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

Other Words from sympatric

sympatrically \ sim-​ˈpa-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sympatrically (audio) \ adverb
sympatry \ ˈsim-​ˌpa-​trē How to pronounce sympatry (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of sympatric

circa 1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sympatric

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sympatric

Time Traveler for sympatric

Time Traveler

The first known use of sympatric was circa 1904

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sympatric

Cite this Entry

“Sympatric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

Comments on sympatric

What made you want to look up sympatric? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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