• WordNet 3.6
    • n catabolism breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catabolism In physiology, that phase of metabolism which consists in “a downward series of changes in which complex bodies are broken down with the setting free of energy into simpler and simpler waste bodies” (M. Foster): opposed to anabolism.
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In literature:

She has, if you please, become temporarily catabolic.
"A Short History of Women's Rights" by Eugene A. Hecker
Swelling of the spleen is caused by catabolism of the Malpighian bodies.
"Valere Aude" by Louis Dechmann
Every centre of catabolism is therefore a positive pole of diffusion.
"The Mechanism of Life" by St├ęphane Leduc