[trof-ik, troh-fik]


of or relating to nutrition; concerned in nutritive processes.

Origin of trophic

First recorded in 1870–75, trophic is from the Greek word trophikós pertaining to food. See tropho-, -ic
Related formstroph·i·cal·ly, adverb


a combining form with the meanings “having nutritional habits or requirements” of the kind specified by the initial element (autotrophic), “affecting the activity of, maintaining” that specified (gonadotrophic) (in this sense often interchangeable with -tropic); also forming adjectives corresponding to nouns ending in -troph or -trophy (hypertrophic).

Origin of -trophic

see origin at trophic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trophic

Historical Examples of trophic

  • A nerve also exerts a trophic influence on the tissues in which it is distributed.

    Manual of Surgery

    Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

  • There is also a trophic differentiation, the fibres undertaking special functions of nutrition (the conduction of the sap).

    The Wonders of Life

    Ernst Haeckel

  • Then at a somewhat higher level, self-differentiation, and the trophic reaction to functional stimuli.

    Form and Function

    E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

  • They are unaccompanied by any alteration in sensation, in the reflexes, or in the trophic functions.

  • In the higher animals and in primitive man, according to them, all trophic actions entered consciousness and were regulated by it.

British Dictionary definitions for trophic



of or relating to nutritionthe trophic levels of a food chain
Derived Formstrophically, adverb

Word Origin for trophic

C19: from Greek trophikos, from trophē food, from trephein to feed
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 trophic

1873, from Greek trophikos, from trophe "nourishment" (see -trophy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trophic in Medicine


[trŏfĭk, trōfĭk]


Of, relating to, or characterized by nutrition.



Of, relating to, or characterized by a specified kind of nutrition:organotrophic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

trophic in Science



Relating to the feeding habits of different organisms in a food chain or web.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.