metabolism

noun

me·​tab·​o·​lism mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce metabolism (audio)
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 (see assimilate entry 1 sense 1b)
Regular exercise can help to increase your metabolism.
b
: the sum of the processes by which a particular substance is handled in the living body
c
: the sum of the metabolic activities taking place in a particular environment
the metabolism of a lake
2
: metamorphosis sense 2
usually used in combination
holometabolism

Examples of metabolism in a Sentence

studying the metabolisms of various organisms
Recent Examples on the Web Most studies have shown that l-theanine provides a thermogenic response in mice studies, which lends promise that this ingredient will work as a thermogenic to boost metabolism and burn fat. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2024 Thyroid hormone aids in several bodily functions, including growth and metabolism. Barbie Cervoni, Health, 2 Apr. 2024 The metabolism of fresh posts stepped up in early March, shortly after NPR and Floodlight first sent a series of queries about the Standard to Chevron and Singer for this story. David Folkenflik, NPR, 28 Mar. 2024 The mushroom genes essentially compel the plant’s metabolism to reroute itself through a light-emitting process before carrying on with its tasks. Zoë Schlanger, The Atlantic, 19 Mar. 2024 This hormone plays a key role in cell repair and metabolism. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 11 Mar. 2024 Our experts share that lip flips typically last an average of 2 to 4 months, while dermal fillers typically last 6 to 12 months (possibly longer, depending on the patient’s metabolism). Passport: Explore the finest destinations and experiences around the world in the Forbes Passport newsletter. Dahvi Shira, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Its metabolism would eventually slow down and then cease. Zoë Schlanger, The Atlantic, 19 Mar. 2024 Seeking bright mornings and dark evenings helps ensure your daily rhythms of alertness, metabolism, and strength, among other aspects of your physiology, peak at the right times. TIME, 9 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'metabolism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

metabol(ic) + -ism, after French métabolisme or German Metabolismus

First Known Use

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of metabolism was in 1878

Dictionary Entries Near metabolism

Cite this Entry

“Metabolism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metabolism. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

metabolism

noun
me·​tab·​o·​lism mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce metabolism (audio)
1
: the processes essential for life by which the complex substances in the cells of living things are built up or broken down
2
: the processes by which a particular substance (as iodine) is handled in the living body

Medical Definition

metabolism

noun
me·​tab·​o·​lism mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce metabolism (audio)
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 metabolism Bulletin 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 sense 2
usually used in combination
holometabolism

More from Merriam-Webster on metabolism

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