zeitgeber

play
noun zeit·ge·ber \ ˈtsīt-ˌgā-bər , ˈzīt- \

Definition of zeitgeber

:an environmental agent or event (such as the occurrence of light or dark) that provides the stimulus setting or resetting a biological clock of an organism

zeitgeber was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of zeitgeber from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Zeitgebers are nature's alarm clocks-both biologically and etymologically. The word zeitgeber derives from a combination of two German terms, Zeit, which means "time," and Geber, which means "giver"-so a zeitgeber is literally a "time giver." In nature, zeitgebers tend to be cyclic or recurring patterns that help keep the body's circadian rhythms operating in an orderly way. For plants and animals, the daily pattern of light and darkness and the warmer and colder temperatures between day and night serve as zeitgebers, cues that keep organisms functioning on a regular schedule. For humans, societally imposed cycles, such as the schedule of the work or school day and regular mealtimes, can become zeitgebers as well.

Origin and Etymology of zeitgeber

German, from Zeit time + Geber giver


Medical Dictionary

zeitgeber

play
noun zeit·ge·ber \ ˈtsīt-ˌgā-bər , ˈzīt- \

medical Definition of zeitgeber

:an environmental agent or event (as the occurrence of light or dark) that provides the stimulus setting or resetting a biological clock of an organism

Learn More about zeitgeber


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

all at once

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized-drawing-of-woman-pole-vaulting-across-gap-to-get-trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!