Dictionary.com

heterotroph

[ het-er-uh-trof, -trohf ]
/ ˈhɛt ər əˌtrɒf, -ˌtroʊf /
Save This Word!

noun
Biology. an organism requiring organic compounds for its principal source of food.

COMPARE MEANINGS

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Compare autotroph.

Origin of heterotroph

First recorded in 1895–1900; hetero- + -troph
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Scientific definitions for heterotroph

heterotroph
[ hĕtər-ə-trŏf′ ]

An organism that cannot manufacture its own food and instead obtains its food and energy by taking in organic substances, usually plant or animal matter. All animals, protozoans, fungi, and most bacteria are heterotrophs. Compare autotroph.

Other words from heterotroph

heterotrophic adjective (hĕt′ər-ə-trŏfĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK