the living together in close association of two dissimilar organisms especially when mutually beneficial
a cooperative relationship
A perfect symbiosis was at work between the café’s co-owners, with Stephanie creating the menu and Maria doing the bookkeeping.
Did you know?
“Symbiosis” was adopted by the scientific community in the late 1800s, though it had appeared in English in a non-scientific sense as far back as 1622. When a biological symbiosis is mutually beneficial, it is termed “mutualism.” For example, when the yucca moth lays her eggs in the seed pods of the yucca, she acts as pollinator, and when the larvae hatch they feed on some, but not all, of the seeds. When one organism lives off another at the other’s expense, it’s called “parasitism.” Either way, living together is what “symbiosis” is all about; the word came to us, via German and New Latin, from the Greek “symbiosis,” meaning “state of living together.” “Symbiosis,” in turn, traces to “symbios” (“living together”), a combination of “syn-,” meaning “with,” and “bios,” meaning “life.”