• synonyms


[myoo-choo-uh-liz-uh m]
See more synonyms for mutualism on Thesaurus.com
  1. a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association.
  2. 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.
  3. Sociology. the force or principle of mutual aid.
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Origin of mutualism

First recorded in 1860–65; mutual + -ism
Related formsmu·tu·al·ist, nounmu·tu·al·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mutualist

Historical Examples

  • Notably, the gilt catfish, which would undoubtedly die if deprived of its mutualist, the Gyropeltes.

    The Dawn of Reason

    James Weir

British Dictionary definitions for mutualist


  1. another name for symbiosis
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Derived Formsmutualist, noun, adjectivemutualistic, 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

Word Origin and History for mutualist



1849, in reference to the doctrine of French anarchist/socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), from French mutuellisme. In biology, from 1876, from mutual + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mutualist in Medicine


  1. symbion


  1. A symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit.
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Related formsmu′tu•al•istic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mutualist in Science


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