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[kuh-men-suh-liz-uh m] /kəˈmɛn səˌlɪz əm/

Ecology. a type of relationship between two species of a plant, animal, fungus, etc., in which one lives with, on, or in another without damage to either.
Sociology. peaceful coexistence among individuals or groups having independent or different values or customs.

1870, from commensal + -ism.

commensalism com·men·sal·ism (kə-měn’sə-lĭz’əm)
A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives benefit and the other is unharmed.
A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives benefit while causing little or no harm to the other. Examples of commensalism include epiphytic plants, which depend on a larger host plant for support but which do not derive any nourishment from it, and remoras, which attach themselves to sharks and feed on their leavings without appreciably hindering their hosts. Compare amensalism, mutualism, parasitism.


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