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The branch of sociology that is concerned with studying the relationships between human groups and their physical and social environments.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
e•col•o•gy(ɪˈkɒl ə dʒi)
1. the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.
2. the set of relationships existing between organisms and their environment.
3. Also called human ecology. the branch of sociology concerned with the spacing and interdependence of people and institutions.
4. the advocacy of protection of the air, water, and other natural resources from pollution or its effects; environmentalism.
[1870–75; earlier oecology < German Ökologie (1868) < Greek oîk(os) house + -o- -o- + German -logie -logy]
ec•o•log•i•cal (ˌɛk əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌi kə-) ec`o•log′ic, adj.
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