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

  • n. The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ability of a system or living organism to adjust its internal environment to maintain a stable equilibrium; such as the ability of warm-blooded animals to maintain a constant temperature.
  • n. Such a dynamic equilibrium or balance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The ability and tendency of certain systems to maintain a relatively constant internal state in spite of changes in external conditions; this ability is achieved by the presence of feedback mechanisms which can adjust the state of the system to compensate for changes in the state caused by the external environment. It is exemplified in homeothermal biological systems, such as animals which maintain relatively constant blood temperature and composition in spite of variations in external temperature or the composition of the food ingested.

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

  • n. (physiology) metabolic equilibrium actively maintained by several complex biological mechanisms that operate via the autonomic nervous system to offset disrupting changes


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined from Ancient Greek ὅμος (hómos, "similar") + ιστημι (histēmi, "standing still")/stasis (from στάσις) by Walter Bradford Cannon.


  • Cannon (1932) applied the term homeostasis (coined by 18th-century physician Claude Bernard) to this powerful self-regulating capability.

    Stress and the Manager

  • Explain the meaning of the term homeostasis and give an example of a typical homeostatic mechanism.

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  • When metabolism goes down and stress goes down, then your self-repair mechanisms, which are physical mechanisms in your biology, they get activated, because stress interferes with the spontaneous self-repair mechanisms, or what we call homeostasis, in the body.

    CNN Transcript Nov 13, 2007

  • Putting it in simple words, the homeostatic systems (The term homeostasis was first used by Walter Bradford Cannon in the beginning of 20th Century, to describe the maintenance of constancy in the physical

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  • The natural ability of the body to balance internal and external stress is called homeostasis.

    Dr. Bertrand Babinet, Ph.D., LAc.: Adaptogen Herbs: The Key to Longevity and Optimal Health

  • Disease is a disruption in homeostasis, so you try to set it right.

    A Look at the Inner Life of a Doomed Cell

  • Such natural physiological variability can be a source of confusion if homeostasis is misinterpreted as implying that all signals, including actuators, are held nearly constant.

    Convergence of Intelligent Engineering

  • At work is something called homeostasis, which is the body's own idea of what weight should be based on metabolism mechanisms that are unique to every individual.

    Spot-On: Fighting What You Eat

  • This ability to react to keep everything the same is called homeostasis.

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  • At the level of physiology, the process of this ongoing tension is referred to as homeostasis.



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  • "In the late nineteen-twenties, the physiologist Walter Cannon coined the term “homeostasis”—joining together the Greek homoios (similar) and stasis (stillness). The capacity to sustain internal constancy was an essential feature of an organism, he argued."

    -- "My Father’s Body, at Rest and in Motion" by Siddhartha Mukherjee (

    January 4, 2018