[ kee-muh-trof, -trawf, -trohf, kem-uh- ]
/ ˈki məˌtrɒf, -ˌtrɔf, -ˌtroʊf, ˌkɛm ə- /

noun Bacteriology, Biology.

any organism that oxidizes inorganic or organic compounds as its principal energy source.

Origin of chemotroph

chemo- + -troph < Greek trophḗ food

Related forms

che·mo·troph·ic [kee-muh-trof-ik, -troh-fik, kem-uh-] /ˌki məˈtrɒf ɪk, -ˈtroʊ fɪk, ˌkɛm ə-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Science definitions for chemotrophic


[ kēmō-trŏf′ ]

An organism that manufactures its own food through chemosynthesis (the oxidation of inorganic chemical compounds) as opposed to photosynthesis. The sulfur-oxidizing bacteria found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and nitrifying bacteria in the soil are chemotrophs. Also called chemoautotroph Compare phototroph.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.