a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association.
the doctrine that the interdependence of social elements is the primary determinant of individual and social relations, especially the theory that common ownership of property, or collective effort and control governed by sentiments of brotherhood and mutual aid, will be beneficial to both the individual and society.
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- mu·tu·al·ist, noun
- mu·tu·al·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use mutualism in a sentence
Parasitism, commensalism, mutualism, exist with animals among the different species.Introduction to the Science of Sociology | Robert E. Park
mutualism is symbiosis in which both members benefit by the association.The Biotic Associations of Cockroaches | Louis M. Roth
Proudhon worked out his idea of Anarchism and mutualism, without State interference.The Conquest of Bread | Peter Kropotkin
The chief breakdown is in dealing with the new relations that arise from the mutualism, the interdependence of our time.State of the Union Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt | Theodore Roosevelt
One has given to this mode of activity the name of mutualism.Introduction to the Science of Sociology | Robert E. Park
British Dictionary definitions for mutualism
another name for symbiosis
- mutualist, noun, adjective
- mutualistic, 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
Scientific definitions for mutualism
A relationship between two organisms in which each of the organisms benefits.♦ In obligate mutualism the interacting species are interdependent and cannot survive without each other. The fungi and algae that combine to form lichen are obligate mutualists.♦ In the more common facultative mutualism the interacting species derive benefit without being fully dependent. Many plants produce fruits that are eaten by birds, and the birds later excrete the seeds of these fruits far from the parent plant. While both species benefit, the birds have other food available to them, and the plants can disperse their seeds when the uneaten fruit drops. Compare amensalism commensalism parasitism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.