synanthrope

noun
syn·​an·​thrope | \ ˈsi-nan-ˌthrōp How to pronounce synanthrope (audio) \
plural synanthropes

Definition of synanthrope

: an undomesticated organism and especially an animal (such as a mouse, pigeon, or raccoon) that lives in close association with people and benefits from their surroundings and activities Such birds were synanthropes … that is, born wild but inherently predisposed toward associating themselves with humans.— David Quammen, Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, 1998

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Other Words from synanthrope

synanthropic \ ˌsi-​nan-​ˈthrä-​pik How to pronounce synanthrope (audio) \ adjective
This and other experiments have established a circumstantial case for the role of the synanthropic fly as a disease vector. — James C. Riley, American Historical Review, October 1986
synanthropy \ si-​ˈnan(t)-​thrə-​pē How to pronounce synanthrope (audio) \ noun
The best explanation of this major development in crow synanthropy is that cities provide protection from being shot, safety from hawks and owls—their major predators—and greater ambient warmth. — Daniel W. Gade, Geographical Review, 1 Apr. 2010

First Known Use of synanthrope

1948, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for synanthrope

noun derivative of earlier synanthrope, adjective, "(of plants) adapted to places lived in or frequented by humans," borrowed from French, coinage (after misanthrope misanthrope, philanthrope philanthrope, etc.) on the basis of Greek synanthrōpeúesthai, synanthrōpízein "to live with humans," verbal derivative from syn- syn- + ánthrōpos "human being"

Note: Term introduced by the German botanist Theodor von Heldreich (1822-1902) in "L'Attique au point de vue des caractères de sa végétation," Congrès internationale de botanique et d'horticulture, tenu à Paris du 16 au 24 août 1878 (No. 18 of Comptes rendus sténographiques publiés sous les auspices du Comité Central des Congrès et Conférences), Paris, 1880, p. 116.

Learn More About synanthrope

Time Traveler for synanthrope

Time Traveler

The first known use of synanthrope was in 1948

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near synanthrope

synanthous

synanthrope

synanthy

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for synanthrope

Cite this Entry

“Synanthrope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synanthrope. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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