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Ecology


What does it mean?

(the scientific study of) the pattern of relations of plants, animals, and people to each other and to their surroundings

How do we use it?

The destruction of these big forests could have serious ecological (adj.) consequences.

Word quiz

Many words (like "ecology") that start with the prefix "eco-" have something to do with the environment.

Based on that information, what do you think the Greek term that gave us "eco-" means?

A. earth

B. clean

C. house

D. life

Key

[C.]If you think about an environment as the home of the living things in it, you can understand why the Greek word for "house" came to be used in words having to do with the environment. "Ecology" is a combination of the Greek prefix "oko-" (which comes from a word meaning "house") and "-logie," a suffix derived from the Greek word "logos," which means "word." It was the Germans who first put those roots together to form "Okologie," which English speakers later adapted into "ecology."