• synonyms


[uh-nab-uh-liz-uh m]
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noun Biology, Physiology.
  1. constructive metabolism; the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances from simpler ones (opposed to catabolism).
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Origin of anabolism

First recorded in 1885–90; ana- + (meta)bolism
Related formsan·a·bol·ic [an-uh-bol-ik] /ˌæn əˈbɒl ɪk/, adjectivehy·per·an·a·bol·ic, adjectivehy·per·a·nab·o·lism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for anabolism

digestion, consumption, ingestion, inhalation, catabolism, anabolism, metabolism

Examples from the Web for anabolism

Contemporary Examples of anabolism

Historical Examples of anabolism

British Dictionary definitions for anabolism


  1. a metabolic process in which complex molecules are synthesized from simpler ones with the storage of energy; constructive metabolismCompare catabolism
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Word Origin for anabolism

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

Word Origin and History for anabolism


1886; see anabolic + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anabolism in Medicine


  1. The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue.
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Related formsan′a•bolic (ăn′ə-bŏlĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

anabolism in Science


  1. 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.
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Related formsanabolic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

anabolism in Culture


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

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