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[fiz-ee-ol-uh-jee] /ˌfɪz iˈɒl ə dʒi/
the branch of biology dealing with the functions and activities of living organisms and their parts, including all physical and chemical processes.
the organic processes or functions in an organism or in any of its parts.
Origin of physiology
1555-65; < Latin physiologia < Greek physiología science of natural causes and phenomena. See physio-, -logy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for physiology
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the early history of physiology there was, quite naturally, little or no thought given to the nature of proteolytic changes.

    On Digestive Proteolysis R. H. Chittenden
  • Chemistry and physiology are no longer what they were, as taught by the instructors of that time.

    Medical Essays Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • In learning about the body, we have to study anatomy, physiology, and hygiene.

  • Principles of physiology applied to the Preservation of Health.

    Popular Education Ira Mayhew
  • I shall now mention a fact in the physiology of the Queen Bee, more singular than any which has yet been related.

  • I am glad that you are a candidate for the Chair of physiology in Paris.

  • The science of physiology indicates most clearly its propriety and dignity.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
British Dictionary definitions for physiology


the branch of science concerned with the functioning of organisms
the processes and functions of all or part of an organism
Derived Forms
physiologist, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin physiologia, from Greek
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 physiology

1560s, "study and description of natural objects," from Middle French physiologie or directly from Latin physiologia "natural science, study of nature," from Greek physiologia "natural science, inquiry into nature," from physio- "nature" (see physio-) + logia "study" (see -logy). Meaning "science of the normal function of living things" is attested from 1610s. Related: Physiologic; physiologist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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physiology in Medicine

physiology phys·i·ol·o·gy (fĭz'ē-ŏl'ə-jē)
Abbr. phys.

  1. The biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts.

  2. All the functions of a living organism or any of its parts.

phys'i·ol'o·gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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physiology in Science
The scientific study of an organism's vital functions, including growth and development, the absorption and processing of nutrients, the synthesis and distribution of proteins and other organic molecules, and the functioning of different tissues, organs, and other anatomic structures. Physiology studies the normal mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes of animals and plants.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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physiology in Culture

physiology definition

The study of the function of living things, including processes such as nutrition, movement, and reproduction. (Compare anatomy and morphology.)

The American Heritage® 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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