- any organism capable of self-nourishment by using inorganic materials as a source of nutrients and using photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as a source of energy, as most plants and certain bacteria and protists.
Origin of autotroph
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- An organism capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances using light or chemical energy. Green plants, algae, and certain bacteria are autotrophs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- An organism that manufactures its own food from inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and ammonia. Most autotrophs, such as green plants, certain algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, use light for energy. Some autotrophs, such as chemosynthetic bacteria, obtain their energy from inorganic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide by combining them with oxygen. Compare heterotroph.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.