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[het-er-uh-trof, -trohf] /ˈhɛt ər əˌtrɒf, -ˌtroʊf/
Biology. an organism requiring organic compounds for its principal source of food.
Compare autotroph.
Origin of heterotroph
1895-1900; hetero- + -troph Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heterotrophs
  • Following are some ways to keep the heterotrophs under control.
  • They are heterotrophs that normally respire by aerobic means.
Word Origin and History for heterotrophs



1900, from hetero- + Greek trophos "feeder" (see -trophy). Related: Heterotrophic (1893).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heterotrophs in Medicine

heterotroph het·er·o·troph (hět'ər-ə-trŏf', -trōf')
An organism that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent upon complex organic substances for nutrition.

het'er·o·troph'ic (-trŏf'ĭk, -trō'fĭk) adj.
het'er·ot'ro·phy (-ə-rŏt'rə-fē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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heterotrophs in Science
An organism that cannot manufacture its own food and instead obtains its food and energy by taking in organic substances, usually plant or animal matter. All animals, protozoans, fungi, and most bacteria are heterotrophs. Compare autotroph.

heterotrophic adjective (hět'ər-ə-trŏf'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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