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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek μετᾰβολή (metabolḗ, change, mutation) + -ize.


  • IPA(key): /mɪˈtæbəˌlaɪz/
  • Hyphenation: me‧tab‧o‧lize


metabolize (third-person singular simple present metabolizes, present participle metabolizing, simple past and past participle metabolized)

  1. (biology, intransitive) To undergo metabolism.
  2. (biology, transitive) To cause a substance to undergo metabolism.
    • 2004, Walter C. Willett, “News About What You Drink”, in Mother Earth News:
      Among the many types of juice, grapefruit stands out from the pack because it changes the way some people absorb and metabolize different drugs.
    • 2004–05, Dustin Stephens; Robert Dudley, “The Drunken Monkey Hypothesis”, in Journal of Natural History, page 43:
      The genes in question encode two enzymes that metabolize alcohol and its breakdown products; the two enzymes are known as alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase.
  3. (biology, transitive) To produce a substance using metabolism.
  4. (by extension, transitive) To absorb and process as if by metabolism.
    • 1887 March 18, L. H., “Zoölogy in the college course”, in Science, volume IX, number 215, page 264:
      We believe this to be the true way to teach zoölogy, for we doubt the value to a man of a mass of indefinite ill-digested text-book information. Occasionally an omnivore can take in every thin, and digest and so metabolize it as to organize it into healthy mental tissue. They are, however, the few.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]




  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of metabolizar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of metabolizar
  3. first-person singular imperative of metabolizar
  4. third-person singular imperative of metabolizar