thig·​mot·​ro·​pism | \ thig-ˈmä-trə-ˌpi-zəm How to pronounce thigmotropism (audio) \

Definition of thigmotropism

: a tropism in which contact especially with a solid or a rigid surface is the orienting factor

First Known Use of thigmotropism

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thigmotropism

borrowed from German Thigmotropismus, from Greek thígma "touch" (from thig-, base of thingánō, thingánein, aorist éthigon, thigeîn "to touch, handle, take hold of" —of uncertain origin— + -ma, resultative noun suffix) + German -o- -o- + -tropismus -tropism

Note: The term was introduced by the German physiologist Max Verworn (1863-1921) in Psycho-physiologische Protisten-Studien (Jena, 1889), p. 90. — Greek thingánein has been compared with Indo-European *dhi-n-ǵh-, evident in Latin fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of" (see feign), a present tense derivative of *dhei̯ǵh- "knead, shape." However, this requires that voiced aspirates would lose aspiration and retain voicing after nasals in Greek, which appears not to be the case.

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The first known use of thigmotropism was in 1899

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Cite this Entry

“Thigmotropism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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thig·​mot·​ro·​pism | \ thig-ˈmä-trə-ˌpiz-əm How to pronounce thigmotropism (audio) \

Medical Definition of thigmotropism

: a tropism in which physical contact especially with a solid or a rigid surface is the factor causing orientation of the whole organism

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