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[ai-roh-bik] /ɛəˈroʊ bɪk/
(of an organism or tissue) requiring the presence of air or free oxygen for life.
pertaining to or caused by the presence of oxygen.
of or utilizing the principles of aerobics:
aerobic exercises; aerobic dances.
Origin of aerobic
First recorded in 1880-85; aerobe + -ic
Related forms
aerobically, adverb
nonaerobic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aerobic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In aerobic respiration, oxygen is absorbed and CO2 given off.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • Further, they can be divided into two classes, the aerobic and the anaerobic.

  • Like the bacillus of splenic fever, the microbe of the fowl cholera is an aerobic organism.

    Louis Pasteur Ren Vallery-Radot
  • The cause of this, no doubt, is that an aerobic parasite has always some difficulty in developing itself in the blood.

    Louis Pasteur Ren Vallery-Radot
  • Second, running appears to be an especially effective way to derive specific therapeutic benefits from an aerobic activity.

British Dictionary definitions for aerobic


(of an organism or process) depending on oxygen
of or relating to aerobes
designed for or relating to aerobics: aerobic shoes, aerobic dances
Compare anaerobic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aerobic

"living only in the presence of oxygen," 1875, (after French aérobie, coined 1863 by Louis Pasteur) from Greek aero- "air" (see aero-) + bios "life" (see bio-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aerobic in Medicine

aerobic aer·o·bic (â-rō'bĭk)

  1. Living or occurring only in the presence of oxygen, as certain microorganisms.

  2. Of or relating to aerobes.

  3. Relating to or used in aerobics.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aerobic in Science
Occurring in the presence of oxygen or requiring oxygen to live. In aerobic respiration, which is the process used by the cells of most organisms, the production of energy from glucose metabolism requires the presence of oxygen. Compare anaerobic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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aerobic in Culture
aerobic [(air-oh-bik)]

In biology, a descriptive term for organisms that require the presence of oxygen to live. (Compare anaerobic.)

Note: Aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, and doing calisthenics for an extended time, is designed to improve the body's use of oxygen.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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