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See also: -tropism




From -tropism, from geotropism and heliotropism,[1] 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).


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tropism (plural tropisms)

  1. (biology) the turning of an organism in response to a stimulus, either towards or away from the stimulus
  2. (virology) viral tropism, or which type of tissue supports a certain virus

Usage notesEdit

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.

Derived termsEdit

See terms derived from -tropism for compounds.



  1. ^ tropism” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.