catabolism (n.) Look up catabolism at Dictionary.com
1876, katabolism, "destructive metabolism," from Greek katabole "a throwing down" (also "a foundation"), from kataballein "to throw down," from kata "down" (see cata-) + ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Barnhart says probably formed in English on the model of metabolism. Spelling Latinized from 1889.