Definition of Photosynthesis

1. Noun. Synthesis of compounds with the aid of radiant energy (especially in plants).

Category relationships: Flora, Plant, Plant Life
Generic synonyms: Chemical Action, Chemical Change, Chemical Process
Terms within: Light Reaction
Derivative terms: Photosynthetic

Definition of Photosynthesis

1. n. The process of constructive metabolism by which carbohydrates are formed from water vapor and the carbon dioxide of the air in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants exposed to the action of light. It was formerly called assimilation, but this is now commonly used as in animal physiology. The details of the process are not yet clearly known. Baeyer's theory is that the carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon monoxide, which, uniting with the hydrogen of the water in the cell, produces formaldehyde, the latter forming various sugars through polymerization. Vines suggests that the carbohydrates are secretion products of the chloroplasts, derived from decomposition of previously formed proteids. The food substances are usually quickly translocated, those that accumulate being changed to starch, which appears in the cells almost simultaneously with the sugars. The chloroplasts perform photosynthesis only in light and within a certain range of temperature, varying according to climate. This is the only way in which a plant is able to organize carbohydrates. All plants without a chlorophyll apparatus, as the fungi, must be parasitic or saprophytic.

Definition of Photosynthesis

1. Noun. (biology) The process by which plants and other photoautotrophs generate carbohydrates and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water, and light energy in chloroplasts. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Photosynthesis

1. [n -THESES]

Medical Definition of Photosynthesis

1. Process by which green plants, algae and some bacteria absorb light energy and use it to synthesise organic compounds (initially carbohydrates). In green plants, occurs in chloroplasts, that contain the photosynthetic pigments. Occurs by slightly different processes in C3 and C4 plants. This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Photosynthesis Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Photosynthesis

photostress test
photosynthesis (current term)
photosynthetic bacteria
photosynthetic unit

Literary usage of Photosynthesis

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Chemistry of Plant Life by Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher (1921)
"CHAPTER III photosynthesis photosynthesis is the process whereby chlorophyll-containing ... The end-product of photosynthesis is always a carbohydrate. ..."

2. The Chemistry of Plant Life by Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher (1921)
"CHAPTER III photosynthesis photosynthesis is the process whereby chlorophyll-containing ... The end-product of photosynthesis is always a carbohydrate. ..."

3. Botany, with Agricultural Applications by John Nathan Martin (1920)
"Factors Influencing photosynthesis. — The factors influencing photosynthesis are light, temper- ature, moisture, and amount of chlorophyll. ..."

4. Plant Anatomy from the Standpoint of the Development and Functions of the by William Chase Stevens (1907)
"The temperature may rise too high or fall too low for photosynthesis; but, ... For instance, in the tropics photosynthesis ceases when the temperature ..."

5. An Introduction to the Chemistry of Plant Products by Paul Haas, Thomas George Hill (1917)
"photosynthesis. The formation of carbohydrates takes place in living chlorophyll-containing cells on exposure to sunlight : the initial substances are the ..."

6. Plant Life and Plant Uses: An Elementary Textbook, a Foundation for the by John Gaylord Coulter (1913)
"C. photosynthesis. — The process by which plants manufacture food out of substances which ... This process is called photosynthesis. Except for its length, ..."

7. Dwarf Mistletoes: Biology, Pathology, and Systematics by Frank G. Hawksworth, Delbert Wiens (1998)
"Carbon Transport, photosynthesis, and Respiration One of the earliest studies ... The most comprehensive studies of photosynthesis and carbon transport in ..."

8. A University Text-book of Botany by Douglas Houghton Campbell (1902)
"With the exception of a small number of Bacteria, this power of photosynthesis, as it is called, is peculiar^ to plants with chlorophyll, which are, ..."

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