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  1. (of an organism or tissue) requiring the presence of air or free oxygen for life.
  2. pertaining to or caused by the presence of oxygen.
  3. of or utilizing the principles of aerobics: aerobic exercises; aerobic dances.

Origin of aerobic

First recorded in 1880–85; aerobe + -ic
Related formsaer·o·bi·cal·ly, adverbnon·aer·o·bic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for aerobically


  1. (of an organism or process) depending on oxygen
  2. of or relating to aerobes
  3. designed for or relating to aerobicsaerobic 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

Word Origin and History for aerobically



"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

aerobically in Medicine


  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.

aerobically in Science


  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

aerobically in Culture



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


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.