from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source. Most forms of photosynthesis release oxygen as a byproduct.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The process by which plants and other photoautotrophs generate carbohydrates and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water, and light energy in chloroplasts.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The process of constructive metabolism by which carbohydrates are formed from water vapor and the carbon dioxide of the air in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants exposed to the action of light. It was formerly called assimilation, but this is now commonly used as in animal physiology. The details of the process are not yet clearly known. Baeyer's theory is that the carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon monoxide, which, uniting with the hydrogen of the water in the cell, produces formaldehyde, the latter forming various sugars through polymerization. Vines suggests that the carbohydrates are secretion products of the chloroplasts, derived from decomposition of previously formed proteids. The food substances are usually quickly translocated, those that accumulate being changed to starch, which appears in the cells almost simultaneously with the sugars. The chloroplasts perform photosynthesis only in light and within a certain range of temperature, varying according to climate. This is the only way in which a plant is able to organize carbohydrates. All plants without a chlorophyll apparatus, as the fungi, must be parasitic or saprophytic.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A chemical combination brought about by the action of light, as in the formation of carbohydrates in living plants from the carbon di-oxid and water of the air under the influence of sunlight.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. synthesis of compounds with the aid of radiant energy (especially in plants)
photo- + synthesis (Wiktionary)