One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a relationship in which a lichen supports another lichen or fungal species growing in close association with it, without apparent disadvantage. Later more widely: a commensal or other association short of full mutualistic symbiosis.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society. From para- + symbiosis, after German Parasymbiose.
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