Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments. Also called bionomics.
  • n. The relationship between organisms and their environment.
  • n. The branch of sociology that is concerned with studying the relationships between human groups and their physical and social environments. Also called human ecology.
  • n. The study of the detrimental effects of modern civilization on the environment, with a view toward prevention or reversal through conservation. Also called human ecology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The branch of biology dealing with the relationships of organisms with their environment and with each other.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the branch of biology concerned with the various relations of animals and plants to one another and to their surrounding environment.
  • n. The various relations of animals and plants to one another and to the outer world; -- now more commonly spelled ecology.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In biology, the science of animal and vegetable economy; the study of the phenomena of the life-history of organisms, in their individual and reciprocal relations; the doctrine of the laws of animal and vegetable activities, as manifested in their modes of life. Thus, parasitism, socialism, and nest-building are prominent in the scope of œcology.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment
  • n. the environment as it relates to living organisms

Etymologies

German Ökologie : Greek oikos, house, + German -logie, study (from Greek -logiā, -logy).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Ökologie, from Ancient Greek οἶκος (oikos, "house") + -λογία (-logia, "study of") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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