Medical Dictionary

metabolism

noun me·tab·o·lism \mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌliz-əm\

Medical Definition of METABOLISM

1
a :  the sum of the processes in the buildup and destruction of protoplasm; specifically :  the chemical changes in living cells by which energy is provided for vital processes and activities and new material is assimilated <methods of determining body and tissue metabolismBulletin of the University of Kentucky>—see anabolism, catabolism b :  the sum of the processes by which a particular substance is handled (as by assimilation and incorporation or by detoxification and excretion) in the living body <the metabolism of iodine in the thyroid>
2
:  metamorphosis 2—usually used in combination <holometabolism>
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