From -tropism, from geotropism and heliotropism, from Latin tropus (English trope, from Ancient Greek τρόπος (trópos, “a turn, way, manner, style, a trope or figure of speech, a mode in music, a mode or mood in logic”), from τροπή (tropḗ, “turn; solstice; trope”).
tropism (plural tropisms)
- (biology) the turning of an organism in response to a stimulus, either towards or away from the stimulus
- (virology) viral tropism, or which type of tissue supports a certain virus
Distinguished from taxis in that in a taxis, the organism has motility and moves towards or away from stimulus (e.g., bacteria, animals), while in a tropism the organism is not motile, and simply turns or grows towards or away from stimulus (e.g., plants, fungi). Similarly, kinesis is distinguished as non-directional movement.
In compound terms, analyzed as suffix -tropism, not stand-alone tropism.
See terms derived from -tropism for compounds.