[ aw-tuh-trof, -trohf ]
/ ˈɔ təˌtrɒf, -ˌtroʊf /

noun Biology.

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.
Compare heterotroph.

Origin of autotroph

1935–40; back formation from autotrophic; see auto-1, trophic


au·to·troph·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for autotrophic

British Dictionary definitions for autotrophic

/ (ˌɔːtəˈtrɒfɪk) /


(of organisms such as green plants) capable of manufacturing complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrates, using energy from the sunCompare heterotrophic

Derived forms of autotrophic

autotroph (ˈɔːtətrəʊf), noun
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

Medicine definitions for autotrophic

[ ôtə-trŏf′, -trōf′ ]


An organism capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances using light or chemical energy. Green plants, algae, and certain bacteria are autotrophs.

Other words from autotroph

au′to•trophic (-trŏfĭk, -trōfĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for autotrophic

[ ôtə-trŏf′ ]

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.

Other words from autotroph

autotrophic adjective (ô′tə-trŏfĭk, -trōfĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.