1. The concept that society or the universe is analogous to a biological organism, as in development or organization.
2. The doctrine that the total organization of an organism, rather than the functioning of individual organs, is the principal or exclusive determinant of every life process.
3. The theory that all disease is associated with structural alterations of organs.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.