Etymology
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catabolism (n.)

1876, katabolism, "destructive metabolism," from Greek katabole "a throwing down" (also "a foundation"), from kataballein "to throw down," from kata "down" (see cata-) + ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Barnhart says probably formed in English on the model of metabolism. Spelling Latinized from 1889.

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Definitions of catabolism

catabolism (n.)
breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy;
Synonyms: katabolism / dissimilation / destructive metabolism
From wordnet.princeton.edu