Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

tropism

[troh-piz-uh m]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Biology.
  1. an orientation of an organism to an external stimulus, as light, especially by growth rather than by movement.

Origin of tropism

First recorded in 1895–1900; independent use of -tropism
Related formstro·pis·mat·ic [troh-piz-mat-ik] /ˌtroʊ pɪzˈmæt ɪk/, adjectivetro·pis·tic [troh-pis-tik] /troʊˈpɪs tɪk/, adjective

-tropism

  1. variant of -tropy.

Origin of -tropism

see origin at -tropy, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tropism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The workers, on the other hand, who have to be in and out of the nest about their business, do not have this tropism.

    Natural Wonders

    Edwin Tenney Brewster

  • The object of the tropism is to keep the males and females in the nest until swarming time, and then to get them out.

    Natural Wonders

    Edwin Tenney Brewster

  • Driesch has found that a tropism underlies the arrangement of the skeleton in the pluteus larvae of the sea-urchin.

    Darwin and Modern Science

    A.C. Seward and Others

  • As a type of human behavior it may be explained, like the attraction of the flame for the moth, as a sort of tropism.

  • This may be a tropism (stereotropism) or it may be a mere surface tension phenomenon.


British Dictionary definitions for tropism

tropism

noun
  1. the response of an organism, esp a plant, to an external stimulus by growth in a direction determined by the stimulus
Derived Formstropismatic, adjectivetropistic (trəʊˈpɪstɪk), adjective

Word Origin

from Greek tropos a turn

-tropism

-tropy

n combining form
  1. indicating a tendency to turn or develop in response to a certain stimulusphototropism

Word Origin

from Greek tropos a turn
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

Word Origin and History for tropism

n.

1899, "tendency of an animal or plant to turn or move in response to a stimulus," abstracted from geotropism, ultimately from Greek tropos (see trope).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tropism in Medicine

tropism

(trōpĭz′əm)
n.
  1. The turning or bending movement of a living organism or part toward or away from an external stimulus, such as light, heat, or gravity.
Related formstropic, tro•pistic adj.

-tropism

suff.
  1. Tropism:stereotropism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tropism in Science

tropism

[trōpĭz′əm]
  1. The growth or movement of a living organism or anatomical structure toward or away from an external stimulus, such as light, heat, or gravity. See also geotropism hydrotropism phototropism.
Related formstropistic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.