All Words > Tropism

Friday, February 11

Tropism

[TRO-piz-əm]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, late 19th century

1.

(Biology) the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus.

Examples of Tropism in a sentence

"The house plant had a sense of tropism triggered by sunlight."

"Some organisms’ tropism is related to water."

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About Tropism

This word stems from the Greek “tropos,” which means “turning.” The root, “trepein,” means “to turn” plus the action-forming suffix -’ism.”

Did you Know?

“Tropism” extends beyond plant-based biology. Microbiologists use the term to discuss the way a virus seeks out certain types of cells in order to infect them. Sometimes the term “tropism” is used by laymen to show sociological tendencies evident in a person or group — characteristics they may not even be aware of.

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