Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Biological processes

absorption

noun

the process by which something takes in a substance, form of energy, or liquid

adaptation

noun

the ability that animals and plants have to change and make themselves especially suitable for living in a particular environment

aerobic respiration

noun

the process by which the body uses oxygen in order to make food separate into the substances it consists of and produce energy

anaerobic respiration

noun

respiration that takes place where there is little or no oxygen. This produces less energy than aerobic respiration, and a lot of it is lost as heat.

autolysis

noun

a process in which plant or animals cells are destroyed by their own natural chemicals

biorhythm

noun

the pattern of physical processes that happen in someone’s body over a period of time

chemical digestion

noun

the process in which chemicals in the body separate large food molecules into smaller ones so they can pass through the wall (=outer layer) of the intestine

commensalism

noun

a situation in which two species live together in a way that is helpful to one species and not harmful to the other

digestion

noun

the process of changing food into the substances that your body needs

egestion

noun

the process by which the body gets rid of solid waste through the anus

growth

noun

used about children and animals

growth

noun

used about a part of your body, especially your hair or nails

growth

noun

used about bacteria, cells, or crystals

involuntary

adjective

relating to processes in your body such as digestion that you are not conscious of controlling but which are controlled automatically by the brain

lactation

noun

the natural process of making milk in the breasts in order to feed a baby

life cycle

noun

the series of changes that happen to an animal or plant during its life

microgeneration

noun

the process by which a person, group, or organization produces heat or energy for their own use

osmosis

noun

the process by which a liquid that contains a small amount of dissolved substances slowly passes through a membrane (=thin layer of something) into a liquid that contains a large amount of dissolved substances

osmotic

adjective

relating to the process of osmosis

parthenogenesis

noun

the process by which some plants and insects develop from a female cell without needing to be fertilized by a male cell

reproduction

noun

the process of having babies or of producing young animals or plants

reproductive

adjective

relating to the process of having babies or producing young animals or plants

respiration

noun

the process of breathing air in and out

symbiosis

noun

a close connection between two different living creatures from which both usually get benefits

transpiration

noun

the process in which water that has travelled from the roots of a plant up to its leaves passes out into the air as vapour

pollination

noun

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

profit margin

the difference between how much money you get when you sell something and how much it costs you...

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog