1. A graphic representation of the structure of a food chain, depicted as a pyramid having a broad base formed by producers and tapering to a point formed by end consumers. Between successive levels, total biomass decreases as energy is lost from the system.
2. A diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. Also called diet pyramid.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.