metabolism

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noun me·tab·o·lism \mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of metabolism

  1. 1a :  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 1assimilate 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 bodyc :  the sum of the metabolic activities taking place in a particular environment <the metabolism of a lake>

  2. 2 :  metamorphosis 2 —usually used in combination <holometabolism>

Examples of metabolism in a sentence

  1. studying the metabolisms of various organisms

Origin and Etymology of metabolism

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek metabolē change, from metaballein to change, from meta- + ballein to throw — more at devil


First Known Use: 1878

Other Biochemistry Terms


METABOLISM Defined for English Language Learners

metabolism

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noun me·tab·o·lism \mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of metabolism for English Language Learners

  • biology : the chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food, water, etc., to grow and heal and to make energy


METABOLISM Defined for Kids

metabolism

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noun me·tab·o·lism \mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of metabolism for Students

  1. :  the processes by which a living organism uses food to obtain energy and build tissue and disposes of waste material


Medical Dictionary

metabolism

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

Medical Definition of metabolism

  1. 1a:  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, catabolismb:  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. 2:  metamorphosis 2—usually used in combination <holometabolism>



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