Home > E Words > ecology


Definition of Ecology

(noun) The study of organisms (i.e., animals, humans, and plants) and their interactions with each other and their natural environment.

Example of Ecology

  • Urban ecology, which uses the principles of ecology to study urban (city) environments, such as how socioeconomic factors affect where people live and their health.

Etymology of Ecology

Ecology Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: e·col·o·gy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /i-kAHl-uh-jee/
  • British English – /i-kOl-uh-jee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /iˈkɑləʤi/
  • British English – /ɪˈkɒləʤi/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: ecologies
  • An (noun) ecologist studies (adjective) ecologic or (adjective) ecological topics (adverb) ecologically.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Ecology

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ecology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 5, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/ecology/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

ecology. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/ecology/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ecology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 5, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/ecology/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“ecology.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/ecology/>.