mutualism

[myoo-choo-uh-liz-uhm]
noun
1.
a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association.
2.
the doctrine that the interdependence of social elements is the primary determinant of individual and social relations, especially the theory that common ownership of property, or collective effort and control governed by sentiments of brotherhood and mutual aid, will be beneficial to both the individual and society.
3.
Sociology. the force or principle of mutual aid.

Origin:
1860–65; mutual + -ism

mutualist, noun
mutualistic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
mutualism (ˈmjuːtʃʊəˌlɪzəm)
 
n
another name for symbiosis
 
'mutualist
 
n, —adj
 
mutual'istic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mutualism
1849, in reference to the doctrine of French anarchist/socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), from mutual + -ism. In biology, from 1876.

mutualistic
1885, from mutualist (1848); see mutualism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mutualism mu·tu·al·ism (myōō'chōō-ə-lĭz'əm)
n.
A symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit.


mu'tu·al·is'tic 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
mutualism  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (my'ch-ə-lĭz'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
A symbiotic relationship in which each of the organisms benefits. ◇ In obligate mutualism the interacting species are interdependent and cannot survive without each other. The fungi and algae that combine to form lichen are obligate mutualists. ◇ In the more common facultative mutualism the interacting species derive benefit without being fully dependent. Many plants produce fruits that are eaten by birds, and the birds later excrete the seeds of these fruits far from the parent plant. While both species benefit, the birds have other food available to them, and the plants can disperse their seeds when the uneaten fruit drops. Compare amensalism, commensalism, parasitism.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The corals and algae have a mutualistic relationship.
Dynamics of mutualistic populations with open life histories.
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