View synonyms for organism


[ awr-guh-niz-uhm ]


  1. a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes.
  2. a form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus, protistan, or moneran.
  3. any organized organized body or system conceived of as analogous to a living being:

    the governmental organism.

  4. any complex thing or system having properties and functions determined not only by the properties and relations of its individual parts, but by the character of the whole that they compose and by the relations of the parts to the whole.

    Synonyms: structure, entity, network, organization


/ ˈɔːɡəˌnɪzəm /


  1. any living biological entity, such as an animal, plant, fungus, or bacterium
  2. anything resembling a living creature in structure, behaviour, etc
“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


/ ôrgə-nĭz′əm /

  1. An individual form of life that is capable of growing, metabolizing nutrients, and usually reproducing. Organisms can be unicellular or multicellular. They are scientifically divided into five different groups (called kingdoms) that include prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, and animals, and that are further subdivided based on common ancestry and homology of anatomic and molecular structures.

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Derived Forms

  • ˌorganˈismally, adverb
  • ˌorganˈismal, adjective
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Other Words From

  • organ·ismic organ·ismal adjective
  • organ·ismi·cal·ly adverb
  • super·organ·ism noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of organism1

First recorded in 1655–65; organ + -ism
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Example Sentences

Many speakers railed against uncertainties in releasing genetically engineered organisms.

To understand sex completely, we need an explanation that goes back to the primordial soup of very early complex organisms and the immediate survival pressures they were under.

Cogdell wasn’t fully convinced at first that this approach would hold up for other photosynthetic organisms, such as the purple bacteria and green sulfur bacteria that live underwater and are named for the colors their pigments reflect.

Metabolisms are so low that these organisms can survive by consuming this ancient food matter.

“You can literally interpret the body of an organism as a guess about the structure of the environment,” Ramstead said.

He also wants to “replace every existing organism with a better one.”

“It is well established that a fetus is not a ‘person’; rather it is a sui generis organism,” the ruling stated.

They need to become streamlined: an organism that is basically very primitive.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute produced the first living organism with synthetic bacteria this May.

WGA is classified as a lectin—a term for a protein produced by an organism to protect itself from predation.

The organism is an actively motile spiral thread, about four times the diameter of a red corpuscle in length.

The organism is a short, thick diplobacillus, is frequently intracellular, and is Gram-negative (Fig. 126).

The state is, therefore, an artificial organism for the promotion of individual and collective good.

There are other infective diseases, in which we have not yet found the causative micro-organism, but we presume its existence.

We do not know the cause of yellow fever despite the claims of Sanarelli that he has isolated the specific micro-organism.


Related Words




organic solidarityorganist