Anthropogenic is an adjective that describes changes in nature made by people. If your town has rerouted water from the river for drinking water, that is an anthropogenic activity.

Whenever you see the word root anthro, you can bet there’s a person involved, and anthropogenic is a particularly good example. From the Greek anthropogenes, meaning "born of man,” anthropogenic can refer to any changes in nature that are caused by people — like the existence of roads or cities where once there were forests. Most often, you will hear anthropogenic as an adjective describing pollution — such as the anthropogenic causes of the hole in the ozone layer.

Definitions of anthropogenic

adj of or relating to the study of the origins and development of human beings


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