Definition of sympatric in English:



  • 1(of animals or plant species or populations) occurring within the same or overlapping geographical areas.

    Compare with allopatric
    • ‘The occurrence of several crossable sympatric species from the genus Pinus in Asia has led to suggestions that some species arose as a result of hybridization.’
    • ‘These two sympatric species are reproductively isolated and represent highly divergent lineages in the genus.’
    • ‘We assigned geographic areas using the distributions of allopatric and sympatric species as a guide: North America, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Greater Antilles.’
    • ‘Populations of sympatric species often fluctuate in partial synchrony.’
    • ‘Symbols overlap where sampled populations are sympatric or geographically proximate.’
    1. 1.1 (of speciation) taking place without geographical separation.
      • ‘In particular, Muller anticipated that the antagonistic relationship between selection and recombination would be critical in models of sympatric speciation.’
      • ‘Attention has focused on a number of problems, including reinforcement, sympatric speciation, and the ecological context of speciation.’
      • ‘They conclude that sympatric speciation is possible, but only when there is some kind of environmental heterogeneity that is sufficient to interfere with gene flow.’
      • ‘The concept of sympatric speciation by host-race formation remains contentious because of the restrictive conditions that many workers have suggested are required, based on models using assumptions that may not be true.’
      • ‘Indeed, sympatric speciation events have been observed in controlled experiments, under natural conditions, and also demonstrated by simulation models.’


Early 20th century: from sym- ‘with, together’ + Greek patra ‘fatherland’ + -ic.