[foh-tuh-sin-thuh-sahyz]Biology, Biochemistry
verb (used without object), pho·to·syn·the·sized, pho·to·syn·the·siz·ing.
  1. to produce carbohydrates by photosynthesis: Plants with light green leaves don't photosynthesize as well as those with darker leaves.
verb (used with object), pho·to·syn·the·sized, pho·to·syn·the·siz·ing.
  1. to produce by photosynthesis: Plants photosynthesize sugars from carbon dioxide and water. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for photosynthesize



  1. (of plants and some bacteria) to carry out photosynthesis
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 photosynthesize

1910, from photosynthesis + -ize. Related: Photosynthesized; photosynthesizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

photosynthesize in Medicine


  1. To synthesize by the process of photosynthesis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.