Biology, Physiology. the sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism by which its material substance is produced, maintained, and destroyed, and by which energy is made available.Compare anabolism, catabolism.
any basic process of organic functioning or operating: changes in the country's economic metabolism.
Origin of metabolism
1875–80;Related formshy·per·me·tab·o·lism, noun
< Greek metabol(ḗ
) change (meta- meta-
a throw) + -ism
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for metabolism
Contemporary Examples of metabolism
Now, sure, our metabolism slows as we grow older, but you can keep the weight off by eating right.
Cool OffIn addition to freshening up your face and body, showers can help stimulate the circulatory system and metabolism.
Codeine should not have been prescribed for these patients because its metabolism in children varies widely from person to person.
Increasing your metabolism, not slowing it down, is what you want to be doing to lose weight.
Wearing a corset can restrict oxygenation, which is needed to help your body function, including your metabolism.
Historical Examples of metabolism
The aim of this subject is to study broadly the metabolism of the human body.
Growth, reproduction, irritability, metabolism—Mary smiled wryly.
I've speeded up your metabolism so you'll build muscle faster.
This fact shows how profoundly the metabolism must be disturbed by this disorder.
The less mental clarity they possess the better for their metabolism.
British Dictionary definitions for metabolism
Derived Formsmetabolic (ˌmɛtəˈbɒlɪk), adjectivemetabolically, adverb the sum total of the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, resulting in growth, production of energy, elimination of waste material, etcSee anabolism, basal metabolism, catabolism
the sum total of the chemical processes affecting a particular substance in the bodycarbohydrate metabolism; iodine metabolism
Word Origin for metabolism
C19: from Greek metabolē change, from metaballein to change, from meta- + 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
Word Origin and History for metabolism
in physiology sense, 1878, from French métabolisme, from Greek metabole "a change," from metaballein "to change," from meta- "over" (see meta-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Medicine definitions for metabolism
The complex of physical and chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.
The functioning of a specific substance, such as water, within the living body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for metabolism
Related formsmetabolic adjective (mĕt′ə-bŏl′ĭk)
The chemical processes by which cells produce the substances and energy needed to sustain life. As part of metabolism, organic compounds are broken down to provide heat and energy in the process called catabolism. Simpler molecules are also used to build more complex compounds like proteins for growth and repair of tissues as part of anabolism. Many metabolic processes are brought about by the action of enzymes. The overall speed at which an organism carries out its metabolic processes is termed its metabolic rate (or, when the organism is at rest, its basal metabolic rate). Birds, for example, have a high metabolic rate, since they are warm-blooded, and their usual method of locomotion, flight, requires large amounts of energy. Accordingly, birds usually need large amounts of high-quality, energy-rich foods such as seeds or meat, which they must eat frequently. See more at cellular respiration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Culture definitions for metabolism
In humans, metabolism is related to the intake and use of food; persons with a high metabolism can eat more without gaining weight.
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.