troph·​al·​lax·​is ˌtrō-fə-ˈlak-səs How to pronounce trophallaxis (audio)
: exchange of food (as from special glands) between social insects (such as ants or termites)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers trained the computer to identify a behavior called trophallaxis, in which honey bees feed their fellow workers by regurgitating food from a pouch called a crop. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 28 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trophallaxis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


New Latin, from troph- + Greek allaxis exchange, from allassein to change, exchange, from allos other — more at else

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trophallaxis was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near trophallaxis

Cite this Entry

“Trophallaxis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

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