Definitions

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

  • n. A succession of organisms in an ecological community that constitutes a continuation of food energy from one organism to another as each consumes a lower member and in turn is preyed upon by a higher member.
  • n. Informal A competitive hierarchy: "was reduced to character roles while struggling to defend his position in the Hollywood food chain” ( Kathryn Shattuck).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The feeding relationships between species in a biotic community.
  • n. a hierarchy

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

  • n. (ecology) a community of organisms where each member is eaten in turn by another member

Etymologies

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