Function (biology)

From WikiMD

Function in biology is what a part of the body or cell does in relation to the whole. It is the reason some part or process occurred in a system which evolved by natural selection.[1]

A similar definition is "the function of a component in an organism is the contribution it makes to that organism's fitness".[2]

The term is used especially in physiology, in phrases like "the function of the kidneys is to excrete urea from the body" or "the function of the heart is to push blood around the body". It is incorrect to use the word 'purpose' instead of 'function', because the word 'purpose' implies forethought.


  1. Dusenbery, David B. (1992). Sensory ecology. New York: W.H. Freeman, p7/8. ISBN 0-7167-2333-6
  2. Abercrombie M. et al 1992. The Penguin dictionary of biology. London: Penguin, p219. ISBN 0-14-051177-6

About WikiMD

About us: WikiMD is a free medical encyclopedia and wellnesspedia moderated by medical professionals.

Our mission: Provide up to date physician reviewed health, nutrition and wellness information for free in over 100 languages.

Join us: This article is a stub. Help improve Function (biology) or others. Do not trust amateurs with your life! Join us in this effort!. Paid editors welcome.

Pubmed.png Uptodate.png Wikipedia Reddit YouTube videos
W8MD weight loss logo

Ad. Tired of being overweight?. W8MD's insurance Weight loss program can HELP*

Quick links: Medicine Portal | Encyclopedia‏‎‏‎ | Gray's Anatomy‏‎ | Topics‏‎ |‏‎ Diseases‏‎ | Drugs | Wellness | Obesity‏‎ | Metabolic syndrome | Weight loss*
Disclaimer: The entire contents of WIKIMD.ORG are for informational purposes only and do not render medical advice or professional services. If you have a medical emergency, you should CALL 911 immediately! Given the nature of the wiki, the information provided may not be accurate, misleading and or incorrect. Use the information on this wiki at your own risk! See full Disclaimer.
Link to this page: <a href="">Function (biology)</a>

  • Individual results may vary for weight loss from our sponsors.