the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.
Psychology. a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated.
Entomology. the ability of members of a colony of social insects to behave cooperatively to produce a desired result, as when bees coordinate the fanning of their wings to cool the hive.

1925–30; homeo- + stasis

homeostatic [hoh-mee-uh-stat-ik] , adjective
homeostatically, adverb
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World English Dictionary
homeostasis or homoeostasis (ˌhəʊmɪəʊˈsteɪsɪs)
1.  the maintenance of metabolic equilibrium within an animal by a tendency to compensate for disrupting changes
2.  the maintenance of equilibrium within a social group, person, etc
homoeostasis or homoeostasis
homeostatic or homoeostasis
homoeostatic or homoeostasis

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Word Origin & History

1926, coined in Mod.L. from homeo-, comb. form of Gk. homoios "of the same kind" (see homeopathy) + Gk. stasis "standing still" (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

homeostasis ho·me·o·sta·sis (hō'mē-ō-stā'sĭs)

  1. The ability or tendency of an organism or a cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.

  2. The processes used to maintain such bodily equilibrium.

ho'me·o·stat'ic (-stāt'ĭk) adj.
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
homeostasis   (hō'mē-ō-stā'sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
The tendency of an organism or cell to regulate its internal conditions, such as the chemical composition of its body fluids, so as to maintain health and functioning, regardless of outside conditions. The organism or cell maintains homeostasis by monitoring its internal conditions and responding appropriately when these conditions deviate from their optimal state. The maintenance of a steady body temperature in warm-blooded animals is an example of homeostasis. In human beings, the homeostatic regulation of body temperature involves such mechanisms as sweating when the internal temperature becomes excessive and shivering to produce heat, as well as the generation of heat through metabolic processes when the internal temperature falls too low.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
homeostasis [(hoh-mee-oh-stay-sis)]

The tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. A simple example of homeostasis is the body's ability to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, whatever the temperature outside.

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
Such homeostasis is the key to the regulation of metabolic processes.
Personal determination to maintain optimal body weight, and other aspects of
  homeostasis, must come from within.
Our bodies are smart enough to mostly maintain homeostasis, despite what our
  brains do.
This scenario offers a sort of homeostasis, in which nothing considerably
  worsens or improves.
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