• synonyms


[sim-pa-trik, -pey-]
adjective Biology, Ecology.
  1. originating in or occupying the same geographical area.
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Origin of sympatric

1900–05; sym- + Greek pátr(ā) fatherland (patr-, stem of patḗr father + feminine noun suffix) + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sympatric

Historical Examples of sympatric

  • Consequently, in some areas it is sympatric with S. cyanosticta and phaeota.

    Neotropical Hylid Frogs, Genus Smilisca

    William E. Duellman

  • It is not known for certain that melanonotus and occidentalis are sympatric.

  • Cases of sympatric existence of two subspecies of one species are known in birds and in reptiles.

  • Regardless of their respective breeding habits, sympatric species have calls that differ notably.

  • We postulate that these differences evolved to support the reproductive isolation of the sympatric species.

British Dictionary definitions for sympatric


  1. (of biological speciation or species) taking place or existing in the same or overlapping geographical areasCompare allopatric
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Derived Formssympatrically, adverb

Word Origin for sympatric

C20: from syn- + -patric, from Greek patra native land, from patēr father
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 sympatric


1904, from syn- + Greek patra "fatherland." Opposite of allopatric.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sympatric in Science


  1. Occupying the same or overlapping geographic areas without interbreeding. Although they share the same geographic range, sympatric populations of related organisms become isolated from each other reproductively. This can happen by the development of subpopulations that become dependent on distinct food sources or that evolve distinct seasonal mating behavior. Flowering plants frequently become reproductively isolated through the development of polyploid hybrids (hybrids with three or more sets of chromosomes) that cannot backcross with either parent.♦ The development of new species as a result of the reproductive isolation of populations that share the same geographic range is called sympatric speciation. Compare allopatric.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.