Excretion

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Excretion'

Excretion Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    excretion n
  1. the bodily process of discharging waste matter [syn: elimination, evacuation, excreting, voiding]
  2. waste matter (as urine or sweat but especially feces) discharged from the body [syn: body waste, excreta, excrement, excretory product]
Excretion Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Excretion \Ex*cre"tion\, n. [Cf. F. excr['e]tion.]
  1. The act of excreting. To promote secretion and excretion. --Pereira.
  2. That which is excreted; excrement. --Bacon.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Excretion'


Excretion is the process by which waste products of metabolism and other non-useful materials are eliminated from an organism. It is an essential process in all forms of life. It contrasts secretion, where the substance may have specific tasks after leaving the cell.

In single-celled organisms, waste products are discharged directly through the surface of the cell. Multicellular organisms utilize more complex excretory methods. Higher plants eliminate gases through the stomata, or pores, on the surface of leaves. Animals have special excretory organs.

In plants, breakdown of substances is much slower than in animals. Hence accumulation of waste is much slower and there are no special organs of excretion. Green plants in darkness or plants that do not contain chlorophyll produce carbon dioxide and water as respiratory waste products. Carbon dioxide released during respiration gets utilized during photosynthesis. Oxygen itself can be thought of as a waste product generated during photosynthesis, and exits through stomata, root cell walls, and other routes. Plants can get rid of excess water by transpiration and guttation. Waste products may be stored in leaves that fall off. Other waste materials that are exuded by some plants — resins, saps, latexes, etc. are forced from the interior of the plant by hydrostatic pressures inside the plant and by absorptive forces of plant cells. These processes do not need added energy, they act passively.

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