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

transitive verb

: to subject to metabolism

intransitive verb

: to perform metabolism
metabolizable adjective

Example Sentences

Food is metabolized by the body.
Recent Examples on the Web Because of the way our internal clocks operate, our bodies are primed to digest and metabolize food early in the day. Anahad O'connor, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Jan. 2023 But excessive nutrients can exceed the capacity of cells to store and metabolize them, resulting in toxic reactions. National Geographic, 28 Dec. 2022 So much of our ability to eat diverse food sources and metabolize them comes down to those bacteria. Quanta Magazine, 19 Dec. 2022 Iron - Needed to metabolize and regulate energy production. Mark Anderson, Discover Magazine, 11 Oct. 2022 Herbs, natural supplements and ingredients that are proven to enhance testosterone levels all work together to get your body to produce more natural testosterone and metabolize it more effectively. Dallas News, 1 Feb. 2022 B vitamins help metabolize amino acids to combat hair loss and keep dandruff at bay. Sian Babish,, 9 Oct. 2020 Mornings are when our bodies are primed to metabolize food. Anahad O'connor, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Jan. 2023 This can help to improve the body's ability to metabolize food and reduce the risk of metabolic disorders. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of metabolize was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near metabolize

Cite this Entry

“Metabolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


me·​tab·​o·​lize mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce metabolize (audio)
metabolized; metabolizing
: to break down by metabolism
food is metabolized by the body

Medical Definition


variants also British metabolise
metabolized also British metabolised; metabolizing also British metabolising

transitive verb

: to subject to metabolism

intransitive verb

: to perform metabolism
metabolizer noun
also British metaboliser

More from Merriam-Webster on metabolize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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