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Word of the Day
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Definitions for thigmotropism

  1. Biology. oriented growth of an organism in response to mechanical contact, as a plant tendril coiling around a string support.

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Citations for thigmotropism
When touch is the stimulus, the response is thigmotropism. Positive thigmotropism occurs when a tendril touches an object and, by growing toward it, wraps around it. James D. Mauseth, Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology, 2009
Thigmotropism is what makes a vine curl around a stake or an epiphyte cling to a branch in the wild. Deb Wandell, "Flora Grubb reinvents the plant stand with Thigmotrope Perch," San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2015
Origin of thigmotropism
1895-1900
Thigmotropism is a very rare word, restricted to biology, especially botany. All three of the components of the word come from Greek: thígma means “a touch”; trópos and tropḗ are both nouns meaning “a turning, turn”; and -ism comes from the Greek suffixes -ismós, isma, used to form nouns denoting the result of an action. Thigmotropism entered English in the early 20th century.