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

  • n. The turning or bending response of an organism upon direct contact with a solid surface or object. Also called stereotropism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Growth or motion in response to touch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In biology, the movement or growth of an organism in relation to contact with a foreign body; stereotropism. See thigmotaxis.


Greek thigma, touch; see thigmotaxis + -tropism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
thigmo- +‎ tropism (Wiktionary)


  • What are the advantages of thigmotropism to climbing plants? if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is near it, does it make a sound?

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  • 1. An orientation response to touch or a contact stimulus.
    2. The orientation of an organism in response to a mechanical displacement.
    3. Growth curvature in response to a contact stimulus found in clinging plant organs.
    4. A tendency of an organism or part of an organism to bend or to turn in response to a touch stimulus; such as, a vine coiling around a string support.

    December 3, 2007