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[ey-foh-tik] /eɪˈfoʊ tɪk/
lightless; dark.
Origin of aphotic
1900-05; a-6 + photic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aphotic
  • They are particularly curious about animals with large eyes that live on the bottom of the seafloor in the aphotic zone.
  • Below this, in the aphotic zone, the available light is too weak to support a significant amount of photosynthetic production.
British Dictionary definitions for aphotic


characterized by or growing in the absence of light: an aphotic plant
of or relating to the zone of an ocean below that to which sunlight can penetrate, usually about 90m (300 ft). This is the lowest level at which photosynthesis can take place
Word Origin
C20: from a-1 + -photic, from Greek phōs light
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for aphotic

"untouched by sunlight, lightless" (in reference to deep-sea regions), 1903, Modern Latin, from Greek a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + phos (genitive photos) "light," related to phainein "to show, to bring to light" (see phantasm) + -ic. Aphotic zone is recorded from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aphotic in Science
  1. Having no light.

  2. Relating to the region of a body of water that is not reached by sunlight and in which photosynthesis is unable to occur. Compare photic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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