Definition of organism in US English:



  • 1An individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.

    • ‘Of course there are also less interesting organisms like plants and animals in this database as well.’
    • ‘It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet.’
    • ‘Eventually, it melts to supply water and nutrients to plants and aquatic organisms.’
    • ‘In all of these areas he always paid careful attention to the behavior of individual organisms.’
    • ‘There are a number of solid arguments that plants too are responsive organisms, that they too react to pain.’
    • ‘Flowering plants are multicellular organisms where cell division plays a significant role in growth and development.’
    • ‘To other organisms, including higher animals and plants, many synthetic compounds are highly toxic.’
    • ‘Oxygen is consumed by animals and other aerobic organisms.’
    • ‘The technology we are talking about here is the genetically modified plants or organisms.’
    • ‘Plants are sessile organisms that had to develop strategies to adapt rapidly to changes in environmental conditions.’
    • ‘Plants are aerobic organisms that rely on oxygen for development and metabolism.’
    • ‘A plant will bend towards light and single-celled organisms will dodge obstacles.’
    • ‘Molybdenum is a trace element found in the soil and is required for growth of most biological organisms including plants and animals.’
    • ‘Green plants are the only organisms in the natural world that can make their own food.’
    • ‘It is observed in all organisms from bacteria to plants and animals.’
    • ‘Multicellular organisms such as animals and plants could then be viewed as communities of cells.’
    • ‘Some single-celled organisms called protists do in fact use cilia on their cell surface to swim through water.’
    • ‘But these trees and bushes and grasses around me are living organisms just like animals.’
    • ‘Haeckel noted that multicellular animal organisms follow a common pattern in early embryological development.’
    • ‘Most organic materials supply a wide range of the other nutrients needed by compost organisms and plants.’
    living thing, being, creature, animal, plant, structure, life form, entity, body
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    1. 1.1 The material structure of an individual life form.
      ‘the heart's contribution to the maintenance of the human organism’
      • ‘Humans and all other organisms are related by evolution to a common ancestor.’
      • ‘In the human organism, cholesterol is the parent compound of all steroid hormones.’
      • ‘A genome is all the genetic information or hereditary material possessed by an organism.’
      • ‘Basically us humans are only organisms, we are the same as a plant, a dog, even a bacteria.’
      • ‘Biologists assumed that proteins alone regulate the genes of humans and other complex organisms.’
      • ‘His repeated failures forced him to reconsider some common and basic assumptions about how the human organism works.’
      • ‘Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes; many simple organisms, like bacteria, have just one pair.’
      • ‘Biotechnology can be defined as the manipulation of biological organisms to make products that benefit human beings.’
      • ‘The primary explanatory guide would be evolution of grades of organisms and their structures.’
      • ‘In 2000, the organism was cultured in human fibroblast cell line by centrifugation shell vial technique.’
      • ‘Maintenance of blood glucose homeostasis is of paramount importance to the survival of the human organism.’
      • ‘It is believed that the organism proliferates in decaying organic material, producing the toxins that are then taken up by animals.’
      • ‘Many organisms have evolved materials whose unusual physical properties may make them useful.’
      • ‘Nowadays, this code might contain DNA sequencing and the genetic map of a complex organism such as the human body.’
      • ‘The organism is transmitted to humans by the bite of the sandfly.’
      • ‘One of the most potent influences on the human organism is fear.’
      • ‘Some scientists have endeavoured to demonstrate that exposure to colour can trigger biochemical responses in the human organism.’
      • ‘Yet they are responsible for a multicellular organism with a complex central nervous system, and the human genome looks remarkably similar to this.’
      • ‘Aging is characterized by the progressive loss of functional and structural integrity of the organism.’
    2. 1.2 A whole with interdependent parts, likened to a living being.
      ‘the upper strata of the American social organism’
      • ‘According to Richard Pascale, if you want your company to stay alive, then try running it like a living organism.’
      • ‘A company is a living organism competing, collaborating, and cocreating in a network of other companies.’
      • ‘As soon as a system - whether an organism or an economy - runs out of energy, it starts to disintegrate.’
      • ‘That idea of progressive politics collapsed in 1970s - and out of it came the modern pessimism that society is too complex an organism to be changed in a rational fashion.’
      • ‘The new theory presented the global atmospheric system as if it were a living organism, and - even more radically - attributed purpose to it.’
      • ‘There are some intelligent people in it, but the organism of the government is not intelligent.’
      • ‘A covenant places the emphasis on the church as an organism of living relationships rather than an institutional organization.’
      • ‘The statement implies a living organism feeding on not only the public who gives it money, but on the employees who feed energy into the beast.’
      • ‘Indeed, this could be said of any social organism: baseball teams, political parties or corporations.’
      • ‘Broadly speaking, the Greeks viewed the Universe as a living organism rather than as a mechanism like a watch.’
      structure, system, organization, entity, whole, set-up
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Early 18th century (in the sense ‘organization’, from organize): current senses derive from French organisme.