[ ee-koh-sis-tuhm, ek-oh- ]
/ ˈi koʊˌsɪs təm, ˈɛk oʊ- /
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See synonyms for: ecosystem / ecosystems on Thesaurus.com


Ecology. a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment: Aquatic ecosystems differ radically from their terrestrial counterparts.
any system or network of interconnecting and interacting parts, as in a business: The success of Apple’s ecosystem depends on hardware/software integration.Manufacturers, retailers, and customers are all part of the automotive industry’s ecosystem.



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Origin of ecosystem

First recorded in 1930–35; eco- + system
biosphere, ecology, ecosystem , environment, habitat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for ecosystem

/ (ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm, ˈɛkəʊ-) /


ecology a system involving the interactions between a community of living organisms in a particular area and its nonliving environment
C20: from eco (logy) + system
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

Medical definitions for ecosystem

[ ēkō-sĭs′təm, ĕkō- ]


An ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for ecosystem

[ ēkō-sĭs′təm ]

A community of organisms together with their physical environment, viewed as a system of interacting and interdependent relationships and including such processes as the flow of energy through trophic levels and the cycling of chemical elements and compounds through living and nonliving components of the system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for ecosystem

[ (ee-koh-sis-tuhm, ek-oh-sis-tuhm) ]

A collection of living things and the environment in which they live. For example, a prairie ecosystem includes coyotes, the rabbits on which they feed, and the grasses that feed the rabbits.

Chemical substances move through ecosystems on the Earth in cycles (see carbon cycle).
The source of energy for almost every ecosystem on Earth is the sun.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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