Definition of eutrophic in US English:



  • (of a lake or other body of water) rich in nutrients and so supporting a dense plant population, the decomposition of which kills animal life by depriving it of oxygen.

    Compare with dystrophic and oligotrophic
    • ‘Extremely eutrophic waterbodies are polluted because they often cannot support a fishery, cannot be used for drinking water, and have few recreational opportunities and poor esthetics.’
    • ‘Our results suggest that in eutrophic lakes fish predation on zooplankton may be more important than nutrient excretion by fish for the structure and dynamics of planktonic communities.’
    • ‘In eutrophic Lake Hiidenvesi, we studied the possibility that water quality indirectly affects mysids by forcing them to habitats where they are vulnerable to fish predation.’
    • ‘Our laboratory has also reported alterations in the synthesis, plasma concentrations and hepatic metabolism of androgens in alligators living in eutrophic lakes with exposure to pesticides.’
    • ‘Dynamics of phytoplankton succession coupled to species diversity as a system-level tool for study of Microcystis population dynamics in eutrophic lakes’


Early 18th century (denoting a medicine promoting good nutrition): from Greek eutrophia, from eu ‘well’ + trephein ‘nourish’. The current sense dates from the 1930s.