from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of, relating to, or characterized by a symbiotic relationship in which one species is benefited while the other is unaffected.
- n. An organism participating in a symbiotic relationship in which one species derives some benefit while the other is unaffected.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. of a form of symbiosis in which one organism derives a benefit while the other is unaffected
- n. An organism partaking in a commensal relationship.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Having the character of a commensal.
- n. One who eats at the same table.
- n. An animal, not truly parasitic, which lives in, with, or on, another, partaking usually of the same food. Both species may be benefited by the association.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Eating together at the same table.
- In zoology and botany, living with as a tenant or coinhabitant, but not as a parasite; inquiline. See II., 2.
- n. One who eats at the same table with another or others.
- n. In zoology and botany, one of two animals or plants which live together, but neither at the expense of the other; an animal or a plant as a tenant, but not a true parasite, of another; an inquiline.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. either of two different animal or plant species living in close association but not interdependent
- adj. living in a state of commensalism
These beneficial bugs are called commensal bacteria.
He who lives at the expense of another, and at his table, is his "commensal".
Over millions of years, it has learned to live benignly on human skin and in human nostrils, in a microscopic intimacy that biologists call “commensal,” from the Latin words for “being at table together.”
Furthermore, human commensal species, such as great-tailed grackle Quiscalus mexiccanus and bronzed cowbird Molothrus aeneus, normally increase in number around human settlements and result in the loss of nesting success in other birds.
A hush descends on the commensal gathering of friends and relatives the moment the steaming dishes are laid down.
The commensal skin bacteria that I am doing research on can be used as a substitute for bathing.
All three are human commensal staple diet: pizza crusts and very, very tolerant of proximity of people, traffic, cats & dogs.
When I took a human-animal interaction class in college, we were taught that cats are not properly considered domesticated but commensal, like a remora or a cowbird but with much more sophisticated social engineering!
Best of all, it is an enthusiastic and stylish picture of the joys of commensal drinking.
Freshwater ostracods are free-living except for members of one group which are commensal on the gills of crayfish.