photosynthesis

play
noun pho·to·syn·the·sis \ˌfō-tō-ˈsin(t)-thə-səs\

Definition of photosynthesis

  1. :  synthesis of chemical compounds with the aid of radiant energy and especially light; especially :  formation of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and a source of hydrogen (such as water) in the chlorophyll-containing cells (as of green plants) exposed to light

photosynthesize

play \ˌfō-tō-ˈsin(t)-thə-ˌsīz\ intransitive verb

photosynthetic

play \ˌfō-tō-sin-ˈthe-tik\ adjective

photosynthetically

play \ˌfō-tō-sin-ˈthe-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of photosynthesis from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'photosynthesis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The Greek roots of photosynthesis combine to produce the basic meaning "to put together with the help of light". Photosynthesis is what first produced oxygen in the atmosphere billions of years ago, and it's still what keeps it there. Sunlight splits the water molecules (made of hydrogen and oxygen) held in a plant's leaves and releases the oxygen in them into the air. The leftover hydrogen combines with carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates, which the plant uses as food—as do any animals or humans who might eat the plant.

Origin and Etymology of photosynthesis

New Latin


PHOTOSYNTHESIS Defined for English Language Learners

photosynthesis

play
noun

Definition of photosynthesis for English Language Learners

  • biology : the process by which a green plant turns water and carbon dioxide into food when the plant is exposed to light


PHOTOSYNTHESIS Defined for Kids

photosynthesis

play
noun pho·to·syn·the·sis \ˌfō-tə-ˈsin-thə-səs\

Definition of photosynthesis for Students

  1. :  the process by which green plants and a few other organisms (as some protists) form carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of light

photosynthetic

\-sin-ˈthe-tik\ adjective photosynthetic activity

Medical Dictionary

photosynthesis

play
noun pho·to·syn·the·sis \ˌfōt-ō-ˈsin(t)-thə-səs\

Medical Definition of photosynthesis

plural

photosyntheses

  1. :  synthesis of chemical compounds with the aid of light sometimes including the near infrared or near ultraviolet; especially :  the formation of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and a source of hydrogen (as water) in chlorophyll-containing cells (as of green plants) exposed to light involving a photochemical release of oxygen through the decomposition of water followed by various enzymatic synthetic reactions that usually do not require the presence of light

photosynthesize

\-ˌsīz\play also British

photosynthesise

intransitive verb

photosynthesized

also British

photosynthesised

;

photosynthesizing

also British

photosynthesising

photosynthetic

\-sin-ˈthet-ik\play adjective

photosynthetically

\-i-k(ə-)lē\play adverb


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