[ an-uh-roh-bik, an-ai- ]
/ ˌæn əˈroʊ bɪk, ˌæn ɛə- /


(of an organism or tissue) living in the absence of air or free oxygen.
pertaining to or caused by the absence of oxygen.

Nearby words

  1. anadyr,
  2. anadyr range,
  3. anaemia,
  4. anaemic,
  5. anaerobe,
  6. anaerobic digestion,
  7. anaerobic respiration,
  8. anaerobiosis,
  9. anaerogenic,
  10. anaesthesia

Origin of anaerobic

First recorded in 1880–85; anaerobe + -ic

Related formsan·aer·o·bi·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anaerobically

British Dictionary definitions for anaerobically


/ (ˌænɛəˈrəʊbɪk) /


(of an organism or process) requiring the absence of or not dependent on the presence of oxygen
of or relating to anaerobes
Compare aerobic

Derived Formsanaerobically, adverb

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 anaerobically



"capable of living without oxygen," 1879 (as anaerobian; modern form first attested 1884), from French anaérobie, coined 1863 by French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), from Greek an- "without" (see an- (1)) + aer "air" (see air (n.1)) + bios "life" (see bio-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for anaerobically


[ ăn′ə-rōbĭk, -â-rōbĭk ]


Relating to or being an anaerobe.
Living without oxygen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for anaerobically


[ ăn′ə-rōbĭk ]

Occurring in the absence of oxygen or not requiring oxygen to live. Anaerobic bacteria produce energy from food molecules without the presence of oxygen. Compare aerobic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for anaerobically


[ (an-uh-roh-bik, an-air-oh-bik) ]

A descriptive term for a process, such as fermentation, that can proceed only in the absence of oxygen, or a living thing that can survive only in the absence of oxygen. (Compare aerobic.)

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.