Anabolism – Definition & Meaning

Anabolism is a term that is used in the field of biology to describe the process of building up complex molecules from simpler ones. This process is essential for the growth and repair of tissues in living organisms. In this article, we will discuss the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and examples of anabolism.


Anabolism is defined as the metabolic process by which living organisms synthesize complex molecules from simpler ones. It is the opposite of catabolism, which is the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones.


The word anabolism has its roots in the Greek language. The prefix “ana” means “up” or “toward,” while “ballein” means “to throw.” Therefore, anabolism literally means “to throw up” or “to build up.”

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anabolism is “the constructive part of metabolism concerned especially with the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler ones.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines anabolism as “the metabolic process by which complex molecules are synthesized from simpler ones, usually requiring energy.”


Anabolism is associated with growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in living organisms. It is also associated with the process of muscle building in humans and animals.


The synonyms of anabolism include biosynthesis, constructive metabolism, and anabolic metabolism.


The antonyms of anabolism include catabolism, destructive metabolism, and metabolic breakdown.

The same root words

The same root words as anabolism include anabolic, anabole, and anabolite.

Example Sentences

  1. Anabolism is the process by which our bodies build muscle tissue.
  2. The anabolic steroids that some athletes use can increase muscle mass but can also have harmful side effects.
  3. Anabolism is essential for the growth and repair of tissues in living organisms.
  4. Catabolism and anabolism are two opposing metabolic processes in living organisms.
  5. The anabolite that was discovered in the laboratory was found to be a key component in the synthesis of a new drug.
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