[ hoh-mee-uh-stey-sis ]
/ ˌhoʊ mi əˈsteɪ sɪs /


the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.
Psychology. a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated.
Entomology. the ability of members of a colony of social insects to behave cooperatively to produce a desired result, as when bees coordinate the fanning of their wings to cool the hive.

Origin of homeostasis

First recorded in 1925–30; homeo- + stasis
Related formsho·me·o·stat·ic [hoh-mee-uh-stat-ik] /ˌhoʊ mi əˈstæt ɪk/, adjectiveho·me·o·stat·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for homeostasis

  • Homeostasis: the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements of the human body.

British Dictionary definitions for homeostasis



/ (ˌhəʊmɪəʊˈsteɪsɪs) /


the maintenance of metabolic equilibrium within an animal by a tendency to compensate for disrupting changes
the maintenance of equilibrium within a social group, person, etc

Derived Formshomeostatic or homoeostatic (ˌhəʊmɪəʊˈstætɪk), adjective
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 homeostasis


[ hō′mē-ō-stāsĭs ]


The ability or tendency of an organism or a cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.
The processes used to maintain such bodily equilibrium.

Related formsho′me•o•static (-stătĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for homeostasis


[ hō′mē-ō-stāsĭs ]

The tendency of an organism or cell to regulate its internal conditions, such as the chemical composition of its body fluids, so as to maintain health and functioning, regardless of outside conditions. The organism or cell maintains homeostasis by monitoring its internal conditions and responding appropriately when these conditions deviate from their optimal state. The maintenance of a steady body temperature in warm-blooded animals is an example of homeostasis. In human beings, the homeostatic regulation of body temperature involves such mechanisms as sweating when the internal temperature becomes excessive and shivering to produce heat, as well as the generation of heat through metabolic processes when the internal temperature falls too low.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for homeostasis


[ (hoh-mee-oh-stay-sis) ]

The tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. A simple example of homeostasis is the body's ability to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (see also Fahrenheit), whatever the temperature outside.

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.