trophic

1 of 2

adjective

tro·​phic ˈtrō-fik How to pronounce trophic (audio)
1
: of or relating to nutrition : nutritional
trophic disorders
2
3
: promoting cellular growth, differentiation, and survival
trophically adverb

-trophic

2 of 2

adjective combining form

1
a
: of, relating to, or characterized by (such) nutrition
ectotrophic
b
: requiring or utilizing (such) a kind of nutrition
heterotrophic
2
: -tropic sense 2
gonadotrophic

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
This type of indirect interaction where organisms at the top of the food chain affect those at the bottom, or vice versa, is called a trophic cascade—named for the effects that cascade throughout the rungs of the food chain. Sam Zlotnik, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2022 According to Jerrold Belant, a wildlife ecologist at Michigan State University who was not involved in this research, studying trophic cascades is not easy to do. Sam Zlotnik, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2022 Researchers used the teeth of 13 megalodon sharks and 20 modern sharks to analyze dietary signatures and their trophic levels, which refers to where the animals fit in the food chain, CNN reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2022 In Colorado, proponents say reintroduction will create a healthy corridor for the apex predators between Canada and Mexico, and that wolves create a positive trophic cascade for ecosystems. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, 27 Oct. 2020 Since species do not live in isolation, phenological changes can cascade through biological communities through trophic, competitive and mutualistic interactions, according to the study. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 30 Nov. 2021 These include increasing or decreasing prey, changing competitive abilities, shifting feeding rates and altering trophic cascades. Nancy Averett, Scientific American, 18 Nov. 2020 Compared with Yellowstone’s complex and contested wolf dynamic, Voyageurs offers a clear example of what scientists call a trophic cascade: When wolves eat beavers, beavers can’t construct ponds. Ben Goldfarb, Science | AAAS, 13 Nov. 2020 His research focuses on trophic cascade, which is the domino effect of habitat loss and ecological crisis caused by changes in the numbers of predators and prey within a food chain. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 5 Nov. 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

French trophique, from Greek trophikos, from trophē nourishment, from trephein to nourish

Adjective combining form

New Latin -trophia -trophy

First Known Use

Adjective

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of trophic was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near trophic

Cite this Entry

“Trophic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trophic. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

trophic

adjective
tro·​phic ˈtrō-fik How to pronounce trophic (audio)
: of or relating to the process of getting and eating food : nutritional

Medical Definition

trophic

adjective
tro·​phic ˈtrō-fik How to pronounce trophic (audio)
1
: of or relating to nutrition : nutritional
trophic disorders
2
: tropic
3
: promoting cellular growth, differentiation, and survival
nerve growth factor is a trophic agent
trophically adverb
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