the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment, including other organisms.
Also called human ecology. the branch of sociology concerned with the spacing and interdependence of people and institutions.
Also, oecology.

1870–75; earlier oecology < German Ökologie < Greek oîk(os) + -o- -o- + German -logie -logy; term introduced by E. H. Haeckel

ecological [ek-uh-loj-i-kuhl, ee-kuh-] , ecologic, adjective
ecologically, adverb
ecologist, noun
unecological, adjective
unecologically, adverb

biosphere, ecology, ecosystem, environment, habitat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ecological (ˌiːkəˈlɒdʒɪkəl)
1.  of or relating to ecology
2.  (of a practice, policy, product, etc) tending to benefit or cause minimal damage to the environment

ecology (ɪˈkɒlədʒɪ)
1.  the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment
2.  the set of relationships of a particular organism with its environment
3.  the study of the relationships between human groups and their physical environment
[C19: from German Ökologie, from Greek oikos house (hence, environment)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1873, coined by Ger. zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) as Okologie, from Gk. oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (see villa) + -logia "study of." Ecosphere (1953) is the region around a star where conditions allow life-bearing planets to exist.

1899, see ecology. Related: Ecologically.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ecology e·col·o·gy (ĭ-kŏl'ə-jē)

  1. The branch of science that is concerned with the relationships between organisms and their environments.

  2. The relationship between organisms and their environments.

  3. The study of the detrimental effects of modern civilization on the environment, with a view toward their prevention or reversal through conservation.

ec'o·log'i·cal (ěk'ə-lŏj'ĭ-kəl, ē'kə-) or ec'o·log'ic (-ĭk) adj.
e·col'o·gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ecology   (ĭ-kŏl'ə-jē)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The scientific study of the relationships between living things and their environments. Also called bionomics.

  2. A system of such relationships within a particular environment.

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

ecology definition

The study of living things, their environment, and the relation between the two.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It saved us from an ecological and economic disaster.
Argues that sustainability is ultimately impossible and describes a new
  natural-law politics for our ecological future.
Such effects could spread the ecological damage beyond the original prey at the
  same time as drawing out the actual extinction.
The common thread among these methods is an embrace of farming practices that
  mimic natural ecological processes.
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