commensalism

[ kuh-men-suh-liz-uh m ]
/ kəˈmɛn səˌlɪz əm /

noun

Ecology. a type of relationship between two species of a plant, animal, fungus, etc., in which one lives with, on, or in another without damage to either.
Sociology. peaceful coexistence among individuals or groups having independent or different values or customs.

Origin of commensalism

Definition for commensalisms (2 of 2)

commensal

[ kuh-men-suh l ]
/ kəˈmɛn səl /

adjective

eating together at the same table.
Ecology. (of an animal, plant, fungus, etc.) living with, on, or in another, without injury to either.
Sociology. (of a person or group) not competing while residing in or occupying the same area as another individual or group having independent or different values or customs.

noun

a companion at table.
Ecology. a commensal organism.

Origin of commensal

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word commēnsālis. See com-, mensal2

Related forms

com·men·sal·ism, nouncom·men·sal·i·ty [kom-en-sal-i-tee] /ˌkɒm ɛnˈsæl ɪ ti/, nouncom·men·sal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for commensalisms

commensal

/ (kəˈmɛnsəl) /

adjective

(of two different species of plant or animal) living in close association, such that one species benefits without harming the other
rare of or relating to eating together, esp at the same tablecommensal pleasures

noun

a commensal plant or animal
rare a companion at table

Derived Forms

commensalism, nouncommensality (ˌkɒmɛnˈsælɪtɪ), nouncommensally, adverb

Word Origin for commensal

C14: from Medieval Latin commensālis, from Latin com- together + mensa table
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

Medicine definitions for commensalisms (1 of 2)

commensal

[ kə-mĕnsəl ]

adj.

Of, relating to, or characterized by a symbiotic relationship in which one species is benefited while the other is unaffected.

n.

An organism participating in a symbiotic relationship in which one species derives some benefit while the other is unaffected.

Medicine definitions for commensalisms (2 of 2)

commensalism

[ kə-mĕnsə-lĭz′əm ]

n.

A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives benefit and the other is unharmed.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for commensalisms

commensalism

[ kə-mĕnsə-lĭz′əm ]

A symbiotic relationship between two organisms of different species in which one organism derives benefit while the other is unaffected. Examples of commensalism include epiphytic plants, which depend on a larger host plant for support but which do not derive any nourishment from it, and remoras, which attach themselves to sharks and feed on their leavings without appreciably hindering their hosts. Compare amensalism mutualism parasitism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.