me·​tab·​o·​lize | \ mə-ˈta-bə-ˌlīz How to pronounce metabolize (audio) \
metabolized; metabolizing

Definition of metabolize

transitive verb

: to subject to metabolism

intransitive verb

: to perform metabolism

Other Words from metabolize

metabolizable \ mə-​ˌta-​bə-​ˈlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce metabolize (audio) \ adjective

Examples of metabolize in a Sentence

Food is metabolized by the body.
Recent Examples on the Web For most of us, our pancreases secrete insulin to metabolize sugar on a near constant basis. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 29 Nov. 2021 However, some folks will metabolize this compound in a different manner than others. Cat Lafuente,, 19 Nov. 2021 Inflammation from a new infection or chronic inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis could also impair how well enzymes like cytochrome P450 can metabolize drugs. C. Michael White, The Conversation, 4 Oct. 2021 The company has also discovered a way to genetically modify the bacteria, coaxing them to metabolize other commercially important target molecules like acetone (CH3-CO-CH3) and IPA (C3H7-OH) in a completely sustainable and carbon sequestering way. Erik Kobayashi-solomon, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 When the infection goes away or the source of inflammation is blocked with anti-inflammatory drugs, however, the liver’s ability to metabolize drugs goes back to normal. C. Michael White, The Conversation, 4 Oct. 2021 The idea is to create new strains of the anaerobic bacteria that will metabolize greenhouse gases (GHGs) in a slightly different way, allowing for a chemical other than ethanol to be created. Erik Kobayashi-solomon, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 LanzaTech has invented a commercial-scale bioreactor that feeds greenhouse gases to a species of anaerobic bacteria; these bacteria metabolize the gas to produce sustainable, carbon sequestering ethanol (CH3-CH2-OH). Erik Kobayashi-solomon, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Their livers may not metabolize drugs the same way that adult livers do, and treatments that are safe for adults could have unexpected effects on their development. Sara Reardon, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metabolize.' 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 metabolize

1877, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for metabolize

metabol(ic) or metabol(ism) + -ize

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Time Traveler for metabolize

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The first known use of metabolize was in 1877

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Metabolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for metabolize



English Language Learners Definition of metabolize

: to change (food) into a form that can be used by your body : to process and use (substances brought into your body) by metabolism


variants: also British metabolise \ -​ˌlīz How to pronounce metabolize (audio) \
metabolized also British metabolised; metabolizing also British metabolising

Medical Definition of metabolize

transitive verb

: to subject to metabolism

intransitive verb

: to perform metabolism

Other Words from metabolize

metabolizer also British metaboliser \ -​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce metabolize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on metabolize

Nglish: Translation of metabolize for Spanish Speakers


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