American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Spending different stages of a life cycle on different, usually unrelated hosts. Used of parasites such as rust fungi and tapeworms.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to or characterized by heterœcism.
- adj. biology Of dependent organisms, spending portions of the life cycle on different types of hosts.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Bot.) Passing through the different stages in its life history on an alternation of hosts, as the common wheat-rust fungus (Puccinia graminis), and certain other parasitic fungi; -- contrasted with
- adj. of parasites; passing through different stages of the life cycle on different host species
- hetero- + -oecious (Wiktionary)
- hetero- + Greek oikiā, house; see weik-1 in Indo-European roots + -ous. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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