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[hoh-mee-uh-stey-sis] /ˌhoʊ mi əˈsteɪ sɪs/
the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.
Psychology. a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated.
Entomology. the ability of members of a colony of social insects to behave cooperatively to produce a desired result, as when bees coordinate the fanning of their wings to cool the hive.
Origin of homeostasis
First recorded in 1925-30; homeo- + stasis
Related forms
[hoh-mee-uh-stat-ik] /ˌhoʊ mi əˈstæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
homeostatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for homeostatically


the maintenance of metabolic equilibrium within an animal by a tendency to compensate for disrupting changes
the maintenance of equilibrium within a social group, person, etc
Derived Forms
homeostatic, homoeostatic (ˌhəʊmɪəʊˈstætɪk) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for homeostatically



1926, from homeo- + Greek stasis "standing still" (see stet). Related: Homeostatic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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homeostatically in Medicine

homeostasis ho·me·o·sta·sis (hō'mē-ō-stā'sĭs)

  1. The ability or tendency of an organism or a cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.

  2. The processes used to maintain such bodily equilibrium.

ho'me·o·stat'ic (-stāt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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homeostatically in Science
The tendency of an organism or cell to regulate its internal conditions, such as the chemical composition of its body fluids, so as to maintain health and functioning, regardless of outside conditions. The organism or cell maintains homeostasis by monitoring its internal conditions and responding appropriately when these conditions deviate from their optimal state. The maintenance of a steady body temperature in warm-blooded animals is an example of homeostasis. In human beings, the homeostatic regulation of body temperature involves such mechanisms as sweating when the internal temperature becomes excessive and shivering to produce heat, as well as the generation of heat through metabolic processes when the internal temperature falls too low.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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homeostatically in Culture
homeostasis [(hoh-mee-oh-stay-sis)]

The tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. A simple example of homeostasis is the body's ability to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, whatever the temperature outside.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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