or di·e·cious

[dahy-ee-shuh s]

adjective Biology.

(especially of plants) having the male and female organs in separate and distinct individuals; having separate sexes.

Nearby words

  1. diocese,
  2. diocletian,
  3. diode,
  4. diode laser,
  5. diodorus siculus,
  6. dioeciously,
  7. dioestrus,
  8. diogenes,
  9. diogenic,
  10. diol

Origin of dioecious

1740–50; < New Latin Dioeci(a) a class name (di- di-1 + Greek oikía a house, dwelling, spelling variant of oîkos) + -ous

Related formsdi·oe·cious·ly, adverbdi·oe·cious·ness, noundi·oe·cism [dahy-ee-siz-uh m] /daɪˈi sɪz əm/, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dioecism


diecious dioicous (daɪˈɔɪkəs)


(of some plants) having the male and female reproductive organs in separate flowers on separate plantsCompare monoecious
Derived Formsdioeciously, dieciously or dioicously, adverbdioeciousness, dieciousness or dioicousness, noun

Word Origin for dioecious

C18: from New Latin Dioecia name of class, from di 1 + Greek oikia house, dwelling

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 dioecism



Of or relating to organisms, especially plants, having the male and female reproductive organs borne on separate individuals of the same species; sexually distinct.

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

Science definitions for dioecism



Having male flowers on one plant and female flowers on another plant of the same species. The holly and asparagus plants are dioecious. Compare monoecious.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.