xeric

adjective
xe·​ric | \ˈzir-ik, ˈzer- \

Definition of xeric 

: characterized by, relating to, or requiring only a small amount of moisture a xeric habitat a xeric plant — compare hydric, mesic

Did You Know?

By the late 1800s, botanists were using the terms xerophyte and xerophytic for plants that were well adapted for survival in dry environments. But some felt the need of a more generic word that included both animals and plants. In 1926 that group proposed using xeric (derived from xēros, the Greek word for "dry") as a more generalized term for either flora or fauna. They further suggested that "xerophytic … be entirely abandoned as useless and misleading." Not everyone liked the idea. In fact, the Ecological Society of America stated that xeric was "not desirable," preferring terms such as arid. Others declared that xeric should refer only to habitats, not to organisms. Scientists used it anyway, and by the 1940s xeric was well documented in scientific literature.

First Known Use of xeric

1926, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about xeric

Listen to Our Podcast about xeric

Statistics for xeric

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for xeric

The first known use of xeric was in 1926

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on xeric

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with xeric

Nglish: Translation of xeric for Spanish Speakers

Comments on xeric

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

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!