ecosystem

[ek-oh-sis-tuhm, ee-koh-]
noun Ecology.
1.
a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.
2.
any system of interconnecting and interacting parts, as in a business: The success of Apple’s ecosystem depends on hardware/software integration. Manufacturers, retailers, and customers are all part of the automotive industry’s ecosystem.

Origin:
1930–35; eco- + system

biosphere, ecology, ecosystem, environment, habitat.
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World English Dictionary
ecosystem (ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm, ˈɛkəʊ-)
 
n
ecology a system involving the interactions between a community of living organisms in a particular area and its nonliving environment
 
[C20: from eco(logy) + system]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ecosystem
1935, from eco- (abstracted from ecology) + system.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ecosystem ec·o·sys·tem (ěk'ō-sĭs'təm, ē'kō-)
n.
An ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit.

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
ecosystem   (ē'kō-sĭs'təm)  Pronunciation Key 
A community of organisms together with their physical environment, viewed as a system of interacting and interdependent relationships and including such processes as the flow of energy through trophic levels and the cycling of chemical elements and compounds through living and nonliving components of the system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
ecosystem [(ee-koh-sis-tuhm, ek-oh-sis-tuhm)]

A collection of living things and the environment in which they live. For example, a prairie ecosystem includes coyotes, the rabbits on which they feed, and the grasses that feed the rabbits.

Note: Chemical substances move through ecosystems on the Earth in cycles (see carbon cycle).
Note: The source of energy for almost every ecosystem on Earth is the sun.
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
And there are places on the planet that show us that it is possible to have
  healthy ecosystems with the right kind of management.
Change in water ecosystems is constant who knows what tomorrow brings, rain or
  no rain.
They fragment ecosystems, send species into extinction and may even trigger
  earthquakes.
It also leaves a salty residue causing pollution and opening the ecosystems up
  for new invasive species.
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