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[kee-moh-sin-thuh-sis, kem-oh-] /ˌki moʊˈsɪn θə sɪs, ˌkɛm oʊ-/
noun, Biology, Biochemistry
the synthesis of organic compounds within an organism, with chemical reactions providing the energy source.
Origin of chemosynthesis
1900-05; chemo- + synthesis
Related forms
[kee-moh-sin-thet-ik, kem-oh-] /ˌki moʊ sɪnˈθɛt ɪk, ˌkɛm oʊ-/ (Show IPA),
chemosynthetically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chemosynthesis
  • Autotrophic bacteria that produce food through chemosynthesis have also been found at places on the seafloor called cold seeps.
  • In these dark depths, chemosynthesis-based on thermal and chemical energy from the vents-is the primary mechanism sustaining life.
  • In chemosynthesis, the energy comes from other chemical reactions.
  • The microbial mat on the seabed indicates that there is still heat rising and that chemosynthesis is occurring.
British Dictionary definitions for chemosynthesis


the formation of organic material by certain bacteria using energy derived from simple chemical reactions
Derived Forms
chemosynthetic (ˌkɛməʊsɪnˈθɛtɪk) adjective
chemosynthetically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chemosynthesis

1898, from chemo- + synthesis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chemosynthesis in Science
The formation of organic compounds using the energy released from chemical reactions instead of the energy of sunlight. Bacteria living in aphotic areas of the ocean are able to survive by chemosynthesis. They use energy derived from the oxidation of inorganic chemicals, such as sulfur released from deep hydrothermal vents, to produce their food. Compare photosynthesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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