from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun An association between two organisms of different species in which each member benefits.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A symbiosis in which two organisms living together mutually and permanently help and support one another.
- noun Lichens are examples among plants.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Ethics) The doctrine of mutual dependence as the condition of individual and social welfare.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun ecology any
interactionbetween two speciesthat benefitsboth; typically involves the exchangeof substancesor services
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
The meaning of the word mutualism has, in recently years, been extended from its original meaning in classical ecology.
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.
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.
A mutualism is a symbiotic interaction between two species in which both species benefit, and is therefore a + + (double positive) interactions.
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.
The saga of human-feline mutualism, which is often non-obligatory on both sides of the relationship, thus offers lessons for game theory.
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.
But the way most of us think of symbiotic relationships is the kind called "mutualism" where both parties benefit from the 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.
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.