from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. destructive metabolism, usually including the release of energy and breakdown of materials
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy
cata- + (meta)bolism.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek καταβολή (katabolē, "throwing down"), from κατά (kata, "down") + βάλλω (ballō, "I throw"). (Wiktionary)