[ fiz-ee-ol-uh-jee ]
See synonyms for physiology on
  1. the branch of biology dealing with the functions and activities of living organisms and their parts, including all physical and chemical processes.

  2. the organic processes or functions in an organism or in any of its parts.

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Origin of physiology

First recorded in 1555–65; from Latin physiologia, from Greek physiología “science of natural causes and phenomena”; see physio-, -logy

Words Nearby physiology Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use physiology in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for physiology


/ (ˌfɪzɪˈɒlədʒɪ) /

  1. the branch of science concerned with the functioning of organisms

  2. the processes and functions of all or part of an organism

Origin of physiology

C16: from Latin physiologia, from Greek

Derived forms of physiology

  • physiologist, noun

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 physiology


[ fĭz′ē-ŏlə-jē ]

  1. The scientific study of an organism's vital functions, including growth and development, the absorption and processing of nutrients, the synthesis and distribution of proteins and other organic molecules, and the functioning of different tissues, organs, and other anatomic structures. Physiology studies the normal mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes of animals and plants.

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

Cultural definitions for physiology


The study of the function of living things, including processes such as nutrition, movement, and reproduction. (Compare anatomy and morphology.)

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.