1. Biology. an organism requiring organic compounds for its principal source of food.

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


  1. An organism that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent upon complex organic substances for nutrition.

  1. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

55 queries 1.121