[ aw-tuh-fey-juh, -jee-uh ]
/ ˌɔ təˈfeɪ dʒə, -dʒi ə /

noun Physiology.

controlled digestion of damaged organelles within a cell.
the maintenance of bodily nutrition by the metabolic breakdown of some bodily tissues.

Nearby words

  1. autonomously,
  2. autonomy,
  3. autonym,
  4. autooxidation,
  5. autopen,
  6. autophagy,
  7. autophobia,
  8. autophyte,
  9. autopilot,
  10. autopista

Also au·toph·a·gy [aw-tof-uh-jee] /ɔˈtɒf ə dʒi/.

Origin of autophagia

Related formsau·to·phag·ic [aw-tuh-faj-ik] /ˌɔ təˈfædʒ ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Medicine definitions for autophagia


[ ô′tə-fājə ]


The biting of one's own flesh.
or au•toph•a•gy (ô-tŏfə-jē) The segregation and disposal of damaged organelles within a cell.
or autophagy The maintenance of the nutrition of the whole body by metabolic consumption of some of the body tissues.
Related formsau′to•phagic (-făjĭk) adj.

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