[ muh-tab-uh-lahyz ]

verb (used with or without object)

, me·tab·o·lized, me·tab·o·liz·ing.
  1. to subject to metabolism; change by metabolism.


/ mɪˈtæbəˌlaɪz /


  1. to bring about or subject to metabolism
“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


/ mĭ-tăbə-līz′ /

  1. To subject a substance to metabolism or produce a substance by metabolism.

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Derived Forms

  • meˈtaboˌlizable, adjective
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Other Words From

  • me·tabo·liza·bili·ty noun
  • me·tabo·liza·ble adjective
  • me·tabo·lizer noun
  • unme·tabo·lized adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of metabolize1

First recorded in 1885–90; metabol(ism) + -ize
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Example Sentences

The researchers then placed the tissue samples in a sealed chamber, fed them pyruvate, and measured how much oxygen the cells used up to metabolize the chemical.

Eukaryotes arose about 2 billion years ago, when a bacterium that could metabolize oxygen for energy took up residence inside an archaeal cell.

It metabolizes alcohol and other bad moleculesThe alcohol we consume can’t be directly excreted—it has to be transformed to be eliminated.

Degrading alcohol is a multi-step process that happens in the liver, where cells metabolize it using a series of enzymes working in a tidy cascade of reactions.

We’re primed to metabolize breakfast before even taking a bite.

From Vox

Some metabolize codeine quite poorly and have inadequate pain control as a result.

Hormonal excesses in the blood require a clean and healthy liver to metabolize and excrete.

“Metabolism is as unique as a fingerprint, some people metabolize food very fast and others very slow,” says Plano.