[ kuh-tab-uh-liz-uhm ]
/ kəˈtæb əˌlɪz əm /
noun Biology, Physiology.
destructive metabolism; the breaking down in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones, with the release of energy (opposed to anabolism).
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Origin of catabolism
1875–80; <Greek katabol
) a throwing down (kata-cata-
a throw; compare katabállein
to throw down) + -ism
OTHER WORDS FROM catabolismcat·a·bol·ic [kat-uh-bol-ik], /ˌkæt əˈbɒl ɪk/, adjectivecat·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·ca·tab·o·lism, noun
Words nearby catabolism
, catabolite gene activator protein
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for catabolism
In this way, anabolism and catabolism exist in balance with each other and are the ying and the yang of metabolism.
In catabolism, cells break down those large molecules to release energy and dispose of waste.
Similar considerations as to the formation and breaking up of the molecules in anabolism and catabolism apply to polymerization.
He thinks of the world as an animal organism subject to what are now called anabolism and catabolism.
Swelling of the spleen is caused by catabolism of the Malpighian bodies.
Every centre of catabolism is therefore a positive pole of diffusion.
The processes concerned in metabolism are chiefly those of building up, “anabolism,” and breaking down, “catabolism.”
British Dictionary definitions for catabolism
a metabolic process in which complex molecules are broken down into simple ones with the release of energy; destructive metabolismCompare anabolism
Derived forms of catabolismcatabolic or katabolic (ˌkætəˈbɒlɪk), adjectivecatabolically or katabolically, adverb
Word Origin for catabolism
C19 katabolism, from Greek katabolē a throwing down, from kataballein, from kata- down + ballein to throw
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
Medical definitions for catabolism
The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.
Other words from catabolismcat′a•bol′ic (kăt′ə-bŏl′ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for catabolism
The phase of metabolism in which energy, in the form of ATP, is produced by the breakdown of complex molecules, such as starches, proteins and fats, into simpler ones. Compare anabolism.
Other words from catabolismcatabolic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for catabolism
Biochemical reactions that break down molecules in metabolism. Molecules may be broken down to gain their energy or to prepare them for disposal from the body. (Compare anabolism.)
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.