noun Bacteriology, Biology.
- any organism that oxidizes inorganic or organic compounds as its principal energy source.
- An organism that manufactures its own food through chemosynthesis (the oxidation of inorganic chemical compounds) as opposed to photosynthesis. The sulfur-oxidizing bacteria found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and nitrifying bacteria in the soil are chemotrophs. Also called chemoautotroph Compare phototroph.