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

  • n. The philosophical doctrine holding that all matter has life, which is a property or derivative of matter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A philosophical doctrine espousing that all or some material things possess life, or that all life is inseparable from matter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The doctrine that matter possesses a species of life and sensation, or that matter and life are inseparable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrine that all matter is endowed with life.


Greek hūlē, matter + Greek zōē, life; + -ism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ὕλη (hulē) "matter" + ζωή (zōē) "life" (Wiktionary)



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  • The Christian Scientist, in funereal, impressive black, discussed the contra-will and pan-psychic hylozoism. The university professor put on a full dress suit and lisle thread gloves...

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, bk 2, ch. 1

    August 19, 2008

  • The doctrine that matter is inseparable from life; life is a property of matter. See also hylopathism.

    May 15, 2007