Etymology
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metabolism (n.)

1878 in the physiology sense of "the sum of the chemical changes within the body by which the protoplasm is renewed, changed, or prepared for excretion," from French métabolisme, from Greek metabole "a change," from metaballein "to change," from meta "change" (see meta-) + ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). The word also has been used in theology, poetics, and entomology.

updated on December 31, 2018

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Definitions of metabolism from WordNet

metabolism (n.)
the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals;
Synonyms: metamorphosis
metabolism (n.)
the organic processes (in a cell or organism) that are necessary for life;
Synonyms: metabolic process
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.