• synonyms


[kee-moh-sin-thuh-sis, kem-oh-]
noun Biology, Biochemistry.
  1. the synthesis of organic compounds within an organism, with chemical reactions providing the energy source.
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Origin of chemosynthesis

First recorded in 1900–05; chemo- + synthesis
Related formsche·mo·syn·thet·ic [kee-moh-sin-thet-ik, kem-oh-] /ˌki moʊ sɪnˈθɛt ɪk, ˌkɛm oʊ-/, adjectiveche·mo·syn·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for chemosynthesis


  1. the formation of organic material by certain bacteria using energy derived from simple chemical reactions
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Derived Formschemosynthetic (ˌkɛməʊsɪnˈθɛtɪk), adjectivechemosynthetically, 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 chemosynthesis


1898, from chemo- + synthesis.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chemosynthesis in Science


  1. The formation of organic compounds using the energy released from chemical reactions instead of the energy of sunlight. Bacteria living in aphotic areas of the ocean are able to survive by chemosynthesis. They use energy derived from the oxidation of inorganic chemicals, such as sulfur released from deep hydrothermal vents, to produce their food. Compare photosynthesis.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.