- the biogeographic region that includes the bottom of a lake, sea, or ocean, and the littoral and supralittoral zones of the shore.
"life forms of the deep ocean and sea floor," 1891, coined by Haeckel from Gk. benthos "depth of the sea," related to bathos "depth," bathys "deep." Adjective benthic is attested from 1902.
"Last June I talked to Dr. Paul Montagna, a marine ecologist at Texas A&M University who studies benthic organisms. He had found significant declines in a range of species that live on the Gulf seafloor."
- Antonia Juhasz, "Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea", The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016