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[uh-nab-uh-liz-uh m] /əˈnæb əˌlɪz əm/
noun, Biology, Physiology.
constructive metabolism; the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances from simpler ones (opposed to catabolism).
Origin of anabolism
First recorded in 1885-90; ana- + (meta)bolism
Related forms
[an-uh-bol-ik] /ˌæn əˈbɒl ɪk/ (Show IPA),
hyperanabolic, adjective
hyperanabolism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for anabolism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of course this may be a matter of anabolism, pure and simple.

  • Consider, for example, a centre of anabolism in a living organism.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • We may thus regard every centre of anabolism as a negative pole of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • A very noticeable expression of the anabolism of woman is her tendency to put on fat.

    Sex and Society

    William I. Thomas
  • The former is constructive metabolism, or anabolism; the latter, destructive metabolism, or katabolism.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • anabolism, the formation of more complex chemical bodies by the agency of protoplasm, 86.

  • Similar considerations as to the formation and breaking up of the molecules in anabolism and catabolism apply to polymerization.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • The processes concerned in metabolism are chiefly those of building up, “anabolism,” and breaking down, “catabolism.”

    Dietetics for Nurses Fairfax T. Proudfit
British Dictionary definitions for anabolism


a metabolic process in which complex molecules are synthesized from simpler ones with the storage of energy; constructive metabolism Compare catabolism
Word Origin
C19: from ana- + (meta)bolism
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 anabolism

1886; see anabolic + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anabolism in Medicine

anabolism a·nab·o·lism (ə-nāb'ə-lĭz'əm)
The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue.

an'a·bol'ic (ān'ə-bŏl'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anabolism in Science
The phase of metabolism in which complex molecules, such as the proteins and fats that make up body tissue, are formed from simpler ones. Compare catabolism.

anabolic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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anabolism in Culture

anabolism definition

The chemical reactions that synthesize molecules in metabolism. (Compare catabolism.)

Note: Athletes often attempt to improve their performance by speeding up this molecule-building process through the use of drugs called anabolic steroids, despite the potential health risks involved. This use is outlawed in many athletic competitions, such as the Olympic Games.
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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