food chain

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food chain (plural food chains)

  1. The feeding relationships between species in a biotic community.
  2. (idiomatic) A hierarchy.
    With my promotion this month I will continue my steady journey to the top of the food chain.

Usage notes[edit]

Because the concept of the food chain implies a feeding hierarchy proceeding upwards to a top predator, modern ecologists usually prefer the term food web, since that term allows for a more complicated system of interactions.

Related terms[edit]