heterotrophic

[ het-er-uh-trof-ik, -troh-fik ]
/ ˌhɛt ər əˈtrɒf ɪk, -ˈtroʊ fɪk /

adjective Biology.

capable of utilizing only organic materials as a source of food.

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Origin of heterotrophic

First recorded in 1890–95; hetero- + -trophic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for heterotrophic

  • Should the compound be inorganic, the term autotrophic is applied to the organism and heterotrophic if the compound is organic.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology|Charles Bradfield Morrey

British Dictionary definitions for heterotrophic

heterotrophic
/ (ˌhɛtərəʊˈtrɒfɪk) /

adjective

(of organisms, such as animals) obtaining carbon for growth and energy from complex organic compoundsCompare autotrophic

Derived forms of heterotrophic

heterotroph, noun

Word Origin for heterotrophic

C20: from hetero- + Greek trophikos concerning food, from trophē nourishment
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