[ foh-toh-res-puh-rey-shuhn ]
/ ˌfoʊ toʊˌrɛs pəˈreɪ ʃən /


the oxidation of carbohydrates in many higher plants in which they get oxygen from light and then release carbon dioxide, somewhat different from photosynthesis.



We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese? Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for photorespiration

/ (ˌfəʊtəʊˌrɛspəˈreɪʃən) /


(in plants) a reaction that occurs during photosynthesis in which oxygen is assimilated and used to oxidize carbohydrates, with the release of carbon dioxide: differs from normal respiration in that there is no production of energy in the form of ATP
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

Scientific definitions for photorespiration

[ fō′tō-rĕs′pə-rāshən ]

The chemical combination of carbohydrates with oxygen in plants with the release of carbon dioxide. Photorespiration requires the presence of light, is catalyzed in the chloroplasts by the same enzymes that catalyze the combination of carbohydrates with carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, and occurs when oxygen concentrations in the cell are high. Photorespiration typically takes place during conditions of high light intensity, dryness, and heat (often resulting in the closure of stomata), when the amount of carbon dioxide entering the plant is reduced, and the amount of oxygen produced by photosynthesis accumulates. Photorespiration thus acts to produce carbon dioxide when it is unavailable and acts as a check on photosynthesis and on the productivity of the plant. Unlike cellular respiration, photorespiration does not produce any ATP or NADH, and so consumes chemical energy rather than produces it. Many angiosperms have a supplemental method of carbon-dioxide uptake that minimizes losses from photorespiration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.