Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, late 19th century
(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."
Popularity Over Time
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.