Definition of adenosine triphosphate in US English:

adenosine triphosphate

(also ATP)


  • A compound consisting of an adenosine molecule bonded to three phosphate groups, present in all living tissue. The breakage of one phosphate linkage (to form adenosine diphosphate, ADP) provides energy for physiological processes such as muscular contraction.

    • ‘Magnesium also helps in the release of energy by transferring the key phosphate molecule to adenosine triphosphate, the explosive energy source you use when you lift weights.’
    • ‘Muscles need high contents of magnesium to run enzymes and stabilize adenosine triphosphate, which aids energy transfer between cells.’
    • ‘Protein machines convert the free energy of adenosine triphosphate binding and hydrolysis into work.’
    • ‘The K current conductance is dependent on the concentrations of adenosine diphosphate and adenosine triphosphate; the conductance is lower for higher values of the ratio ATP / ADP.’
    • ‘This reaction creates and maintains a transmembrane pH gradient, which provides energy for adenosine triphosphate synthesis.’


adenosine triphosphate

/əˌdenəsēn trīˈfäsfāt/