Definition of metabolism
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 : metamorphosis 2 —usually used in combination holometabolism
Examples of metabolism in a Sentence
studying the metabolisms of various organisms
Recent Examples of metabolism from the Web
Free divers do this to lower their metabolism and thus conserve oxygen.
Aside from needing over a dozen baby food jars to accommodate an adult’s metabolism, adults can easily get too little nutrients.
Inside the cell, nucleotides like ATP and UTP are energy carriers and important molecules in normal metabolism.
These changes have downstream effects on metabolism, including genes related to energy storage.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metabolism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
METABOLISM Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of metabolism for Students
: the processes by which a living organism uses food to obtain energy and build tissue and disposes of waste material
Medical Definition of metabolism
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 metabolism—Bulletin 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: metamorphosis 2—usually used in combination holometabolism
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