[ sim-bee-ont, -bahy- ]

  1. an organism living in a state of symbiosis.

Origin of symbiont

1885–90; <Greek symbiont- (stem of symbiṓn ), present participle of symbioûn “to live together”; see symbiosis, onto-
  • Also sym·bi·ote [sim-bee-oht, -bahy-]. /ˈsɪm biˌoʊt, -baɪ-/.

Other words from symbiont

  • sym·bi·on·tic [sim-bee-on-tik, -bahy-], /ˌsɪm biˈɒn tɪk, -baɪ-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use symbiont in a sentence

  • But first a word on human lice, a noble symbiote who has been working the primate circuit for millions of years.

    Ding Dong, You Have Lice | Kent Sepkowitz | October 31, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • They paid a high price for their symbiote, but it didn't really matter to race-survival until now.

    Sense of Obligation | Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
  • The creature in the magters' brains was a true symbiote then, giving something and receiving something.

    Sense of Obligation | Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
  • The smaller partner has commonly been called a symbiont or symbiote by authors.

  • A symbiote—and Dis was the world where symbiosis and parasitism had become more advanced and complex than on any other planet.

    Planet of the Damned | Harry Harrison
  • The final product is a man-plant-animal symbiote that is admirably adapted for survival on this disaster world.

    Planet of the Damned | Harry Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for symbiont


/ (ˈsɪmbɪˌɒnt) /

  1. an organism living in a state of symbiosis

Origin of symbiont

C19: from Greek sumbioun to live together, from bioun to live

Derived forms of symbiont

  • symbiontic, adjective
  • symbiontically, adverb

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 symbiont


[ sĭmbē-ŏnt′, -bī- ]

  1. An organism in a symbiotic relationship. In cases in which a distinction is made between two interacting organisms, the symbiont is the smaller of the two and is always a beneficiary in the relationship, while the larger organism is the host and may or may not derive a benefit. See also host parasite.

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