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trophic

1

[ trof-ik, troh-fik ]

adjective

  1. of or relating to nutrition; concerned in nutritive processes.


-trophic

2
  1. a combining form with the meanings “having nutritional habits or requirements” of the kind specified by the initial element ( autotrophic ), “affecting the activity of, maintaining” that specified ( gonadotrophic ) (in this sense often interchangeable with -tropic ); also forming adjectives corresponding to nouns ending in -troph or -trophy ( hypertrophic ).

trophic

/ ˈtrɒfɪk /

adjective

  1. of or relating to nutrition

    the trophic levels of a food chain



trophic

/ trŏfĭk /

  1. Relating to the feeding habits of different organisms in a food chain or web.


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Derived Forms

  • ˈtrophically, adverb
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Other Words From

  • trophi·cal·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of trophic1

First recorded in 1870–75, trophic is from the Greek word trophikós pertaining to food. See tropho-, -ic

Origin of trophic2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of trophic1

C19: from Greek trophikos , from trophē food, from trephein to feed
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Example Sentences

It is possible that the reflected impulse stimulates trophic nerves.

There is also a trophic differentiation, the fibres undertaking special functions of nutrition (the conduction of the sap).

Certain cells of the anterior part of the spinal cord, for example, are the trophic centres of the spinal motor nerves.

Other trophic centres, governing nerve tracts in the spinal cord itself, are in the various regions of the brain.

Referring again to Fig. 51, it is observable that trophic changes affected the system at the age of birth.

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Words That Use -trophic

What does -trophic mean?

The combining form -trophic is used like a suffix for a variety of meanings, including “having nutritional habits or requirements.” In other words, the sense of -trophic specifies how an organism gets its nutrition or how it feeds.

The combining form -trophic is also used as an adjective form of nouns ending with -troph or -trophy. In some cases, -trophic means “affecting the activity of, maintaining.” In this sense, it is often synonymous with -tropic.

The combining form -trophic is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology and anatomy. It comes from the Greek trophikós, meaning “pertaining to food.”

Corresponding forms of –trophic combined to the beginning of words are tropho- and troph-.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use -troph, -trophy, tropho-, and troph- articles.

Examples of -trophic

One term from biology that features -trophic is heterotrophic, meaning “capable of utilizing only organic materials as a source of food.” It is the adjective form of heterotroph.

The first part of the word, hetero-, means “different, other,” and -trophic, as we’ve seen, concerns what an organism needs for its food. So, heterotrophic has a literal sense of “other-feeding.”

Why? Put simply, heterotrophs, such as animals, require outside sources of nutrition whereas autotrophs, such as plants, can produce their own organic materials from inorganic materials (e.g., carbon dioxide).

In other, etymological words, heterotrophic organisms need “other food” because they can’t make any for themselves.

What are some words that use the combining form -trophic?

Break it down!

Most plants are autotrophic, which means, as discussed above, they can produce their own organic materials for nutrition from inorganic substances. Think: photosynthesis.

The combining form auto- means “self” or “same.” With this in mind, what does autotrophic literally translate to?

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