Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In physiology, that phase of metabolism which consists in “a downward series of changes in which complex bodies are broken down with the setting free of energy into simpler and simpler waste bodies” (M. Foster): opposed to anabolism.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun the breakdown of more complex substances into simpler ones with release of energy, in living organisms; destructive or downward metabolism; -- a form of metabolism, opposed to anabolism. See also disassimilation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biochemistry destructive metabolism, usually including the release of energy and breakdown of materials

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[cata– + (meta)bolism.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek καταβολή (katabolē, "throwing down"), from κατά (kata, "down") + βάλλω (ballō, "I throw").

Examples

  • As the banana ripens the chlorophyll begins to break down a process called catabolism and the resulting products are concentrated in the banana peel.

    Telegraph.co.uk: news business sport the Daily Telegraph newspaper Sunday Telegraph

  • NOT getting enough protein is a sure way to destroy muscle and promote catabolism, which is obviously detrimental to any type of fitness program or goal.

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  • As the banana ripens, the chlorophyll begins to break down - a process called catabolism - and the resulting products are concentrated in the banana peel.

    Alanat News

  • As the banana ripens, the chlorophyll begins to break down - a process called catabolism - and the resulting products are concentrated in the banana peel.

    Alanat News

  • This article describes the actual biology of metabolism at a cellular level, which explains just how those processes are carried out. reducing power to construct complex molecules, and perform life functions such as catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield the chemical energy and reducing power.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • This article describes the actual biology of metabolism at a cellular level, which explains just how those processes are carried out. reducing power to construct complex molecules, and perform life functions such as catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield the chemical energy and reducing power.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • This article describes the actual biology of metabolism at a cellular level, which explains just how those processes are carried out. reducing power to construct complex molecules, and perform life functions such as catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield the chemical energy and reducing power.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • This article describes the actual biology of metabolism at a cellular level, which explains just how those processes are carried out. reducing power to construct complex molecules, and perform life functions such as catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield the chemical energy and reducing power.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • This article describes the actual biology of metabolism at a cellular level, which explains just how those processes are carried out. reducing power to construct complex molecules, and perform life functions such as catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield the chemical energy and reducing power.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • Increased catabolism due to these factors can in turn lead to numerous health concerns including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung conditions, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases, cancer and more.

    Dr. Bertrand Babinet, Ph.D., LAc.: Adaptogen Herbs: The Key to Longevity and Optimal Health

Comments

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  • "You can accuse the disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer of many things in his decision to flout the law by soliciting the services of a pricey prostitute: hypocrisy, egomania, sophomoric impulsiveness and self-indulgence, delusional ineptitude and boneheadedness. But one trait decidedly not on display in Mr. Spitzer’s splashy act of whole-life catabolism was originality."

    The New York Times, "In Most Species, Faithfulness Is a Fantasy", by Natalie Angier, March 18, 2008

    March 18, 2008