metabolism

noun
me·​tab·​o·​lism | \ mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce metabolism (audio) \

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 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

Almased optimizes the metabolism, helps with weight loss, and improves energy over the whole day. Woman's Day, "It’s Possible – Boost Your Metabolism!," 12 Mar. 2019 Readers will be introduced to the importance of homeostasis—the equilibrium of living things—in termites and their mounds, the microbes in the termite’s gut and the frustrating research into re-creating the termite’s metabolism. Howard Schneider, WSJ, "‘Underbug’ Review: Termites and Us," 23 Aug. 2018 In addition, the worlds TESS expects to find will be better situated for observations that could reveal whether alien metabolisms are churning away on their surfaces, beneath their seas, or in their clouds. National Geographic, "How This New Probe Will Hunt for 'Alien' Earths," 14 Apr. 2018 Higher temperatures mean less dissolved oxygen in the water while increasing a fish’s demand for oxygen by speeding up its metabolism. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 Popcorn That Speeds Your MetabolismChinatown eatery Dimes keeps their to-go clients coming back for a trio of popcorn recipes spiked with metabolism-boosting cayenne pepper, beta-carotene-rich spirulina, and anti-inflammatory turmeric. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "The Perfect Super Bowl Snack Exists—Now Here’s How To Eat It," 3 Feb. 2019 The researchers then rechecked their metabolisms and body compositions and asked them to return to their former activity levels for another two weeks, after which the tests were repeated. Gretchen Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "Planning a break from exercise? Think twice," 8 Aug. 2018 The 55-year-old star was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, in 2010, a condition that affects metabolism and heart rate. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Jet Li tells fans he's 'feeling great' after shocking viral photo," 23 May 2018 Particularly over the last couple of years, the work has solidified into a body of research that indicates timing can affect processes as diverse as sleep, metabolism, and cell growth. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Have Heart Surgery in the Afternoon," 26 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of metabolism

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for metabolism

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

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Statistics for metabolism

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for metabolism

The first known use of metabolism was in 1878

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More Definitions for metabolism

metabolism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of metabolism

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

metabolism

noun
me·​tab·​o·​lism | \ mə-ˈta-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce metabolism (audio) \

Kids Definition of metabolism

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

metabolism

noun
me·​tab·​o·​lism | \ mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce metabolism (audio) \

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, 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on metabolism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with metabolism

Spanish Central: Translation of metabolism

Nglish: Translation of metabolism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of metabolism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about metabolism

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