hormesis

noun
hor·​me·​sis | \hȯr-ˈmē-səs \

Medical Definition of hormesis 

: a theoretical phenomenon of dose-response relationships in which something (as a heavy metal or ionizing radiation) that produces harmful biological effects at moderate to high doses may produce beneficial effects at low doses Others argue that tiny doses of radiation are not harmful. Some scientists even claim that low doses, by stimulating DNA repair, make you healthier—an effect known as hormesis.— Dennis Normile, Science, 20 May 2011

Learn More about hormesis

Comments on hormesis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!