Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An association between organisms of two different species in which each member benefits.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any interaction between two species that benefits both; typically involves the exchange of substances or services

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The doctrine of mutual dependence as the condition of individual and social welfare.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A symbiosis in which two organisms living together mutually and permanently help and support one another.
  • n. Lichens are examples among plants.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other

Etymologies

mutual +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The meaning of the word mutualism has, in recently years, been extended from its original meaning in classical ecology.

    Chapter 6

  • If you look at a great eco-system like a choral community you find a very complex community of individuals which co-operate together and work together in mutualism, or what we call symbiosis.

    The Runaway Brain

  • One such route is via the idea of mutualism, which gave rise to the great friendly society, mutual assurance society, credit union and co-operative movements.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • A mutualism is a symbiotic interaction between two species in which both species benefit, and is therefore a + + (double positive) interactions.

    Community ecology

  • The term 'symbiosis' builds on the notion of mutualism in biological communities where at least two otherwise unrelated species exchange materials, energy, or information in a mutually beneficial manner.

    Industrial symbiosis

  • The saga of human-feline mutualism, which is often non-obligatory on both sides of the relationship, thus offers lessons for game theory.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • And what worries me is that people will get the wrong idea about both co-operative businesses and about "Mutualism" and if these attempts to use co-ops in public policy do not work out as well as they are now being touted will be disillusioned with the idea of mutualism, and Mutualism, itself.

    #039;s Place - Comments

  • But the way most of us think of symbiotic relationships is the kind called "mutualism" where both parties benefit from the relationship.

    Vendors, Publishers & Librarians - a Symbiotic Relationship

  • The term "mutualism" as applied to these cases means, of course, that the aphids, coccids, and membracids are of service to the ants and in turn profit by the companionship of these more active and aggressive insects.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • Among other things, he advocated what he called "mutualism," an economic practice that disincentivized profit - which, according to him, was a destabilizing force - and argued far ahead of his time for banks with free credit and unions to protect labor.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

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Comments

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  • "The interaction between the ants and their fungus crop, and the ants and the bacteria is known as a mutualistic relationship. In general a mutualism is established when both members of the interaction benefit from the relationship. In the ant–fungus mutualism, the ants get food from the fungus. This mutualism is so tight that if the fungus is lost, the entire colony may die. In return, the fungus receives a continuous supply of growing material, protection from the environment, and protection from disease-causing pests."
    - 'Sustainable Agriculture - What Ants Knew 50 Million Years Before We Did', scientificblogging.com, 16 Nov 2008.

    November 17, 2008