• synonyms


verb (used with or without object), me·tab·o·lized, me·tab·o·liz·ing.
  1. to subject to metabolism; change by metabolism.
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Also especially British, me·tab·o·lise.

Origin of metabolize

First recorded in 1885–90; metabol(ism) + -ize
Related formsme·tab·o·liz·a·bil·i·ty, nounme·tab·o·liz·a·ble, adjectiveme·tab·o·liz·er, nounun·me·tab·o·lized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for metabolize



  1. to bring about or subject to metabolism
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Derived Formsmetabolizable or metabolisable, adjective
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 metabolize


1887 (transitive), 1934 (intransitive), from Greek metabole "a change" (see metabolism) + -ize. Related: Metabolized; metabolizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

metabolize in Medicine


  1. To subject to metabolism.
  2. To produce by metabolism.
  3. To undergo change by metabolism.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

metabolize in Science


  1. To subject a substance to metabolism or produce a substance by metabolism.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.