One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Biology. The condition of requiring material derived from living organisms, especially animals, for nutrition; = "heterotrophy". Formerly also: the condition (in microorganisms) of growing in animal cells (now rare or disused).
Late 19th century (in an earlier sense). Originally from ancient Greek ζῳοτροϕία feeding of animals from ζῳο- + -τροϕία.
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