[ol-i-goh-trof-ik, -troh-fik]

adjective Ecology.

(of a lake) characterized by a low accumulation of dissolved nutrient salts, supporting but a sparse growth of algae and other organisms, and having a high oxygen content owing to the low organic content.

Origin of oligotrophic

First recorded in 1925–30; oligo- + trophic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for oligotrophic



(of lakes and similar habitats) poor in nutrients and plant life and rich in oxygenCompare eutrophic
Derived Formsoligotrophy (ˌɒlɪˈɡɒtrəfɪ), noun

Word Origin for oligotrophic

C20: from oligo- + Greek trophein to nourish + -ic
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

Science definitions for oligotrophic


[ŏl′ĭ-gō-trōfĭk, -trŏfĭk, ō′lĭ-]

Lacking in plant nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates, and organic matter, and consequently having few plants and a large amount of dissolved oxygen throughout. Used of a lake, pond, or stream. Compare dystrophic eutrophic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.