an·​a·​bol·​ic | \ ˌa-nə-ˈbä-lik How to pronounce anabolic (audio) \

Definition of anabolic

: marked by or promoting metabolic activity concerned with the biosynthesis of complex molecules (such as proteins or nucleic acids) : relating to, characterized by, or stimulating anabolism anabolic agents anabolic therapy to promote bone formation If the anabolic and catabolic processes are in balance, tissue remains intact and good health is sustained. But if the rate of decay is only a little faster than the rate of repair, there is a net loss of healthy tissue …— Paul Clayton — see also anabolic steroid

First Known Use of anabolic

1876, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anabolic

Statistics for anabolic

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anabolic

The first known use of anabolic was in 1876

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on anabolic

Nglish: Translation of anabolic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anabolic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on anabolic

What made you want to look up anabolic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!