Definition of die-off in English:

Share this entry



1A period in which a significant proportion of a population dies naturally, usually within a short time.
Example sentences
  • She attributes the decline in plants such as eelgrass to pollution, high-speed water traffic and natural cyclic die-offs.
  • The theory implies, but does not ever really try to prove, that the dates the supposed mutations occurred have some timing connection with the dates of population die-offs and the appearance in the fossil record of new body forms.
  • 20 years ago, the world's panda population was feared to have fallen to around 1,000, their numbers depleted by low fertility, illegal logging, poaching and periodic die-offs of their staple food, bamboo.
1.1A process causing this.
Example sentences
  • Once a trigger mechanism sets the process of a die-off in motion, he adds, common organisms become massive killers.
  • As aquatic vegetation decomposes, either as a result of herbicide use or natural die-off, the process uses oxygen.
  • Ichthyosaurs gradually disappear from the fossil record of about 90 million years ago, a full 25 million years before mass die-offs wiped out the dinosaurs.
1.2The death of a significant proportion of a population in this way.
Example sentences
  • Scientifically speaking, the last die-off technically ended on Jan. 5 because no new deaths were reported in the two weeks following that date.
  • Either periodic passage of the solar system through molecular clouds or periodic massive volcanic eruptions could be behind the massive die-offs.
  • The authors conclude that recent marine ecosystem collapses, including die-offs of seagrass beds, kelp forests and coral reefs, often had their origins decades or even centuries earlier.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.