Definition of bioaccumulate in English:


intransitive verb

[no object]
  • (of a substance) become concentrated inside the bodies of living things.

    ‘mercury has bioaccumulated in the fish’
    • ‘Although persistence may or may not pose a problem, if a substance also bioaccumulates then there is special reason to be concerned about possible risks.’
    • ‘Chemicals bioaccumulate as plants are consumed by animals, which are consumed by humans.’
    • ‘Some of the more potent of these chemicals also bioaccumulate up the food chain and end up in toxic amounts in marine mammals.’
    • ‘When PCBs are consumed, directly or through eating fish, they are not excreted but bioaccumulate in fatty tissue; the EPA continues to rank them among the chemicals most toxic to human health.’
    • ‘They do not bioaccumulate in biota to any appreciable extent, as they are largely metabolized.’
    • ‘Like mercury, dioxin bioaccumulates up the food chain.’
    • ‘They are transported by ocean and air currents, and bioaccumulate in the tissues of living organisms.’
    • ‘This potent neurotoxin bioaccumulates in freshwater fish and seafood and is especially dangerous to the developing fetus.’
    • ‘Heavy metals being discharged into the lake, particularly copper and zinc, can be toxic to fish and other marine life and may bioaccumulate and contaminate seafood collected from the region.’
    • ‘Based upon this information, it is important to note that cyanide does not bioaccumulate in fish.’
    • ‘When birds swallow these fish, toxins are passed on to their tissues, thus bioaccumulating up the food chain.’
    • ‘In the Great Lakes ecosystem, PCBs have bioaccumulated in the aquatic food web, especially in predator fish and in the fatty tissues of humans.’
    • ‘They are fast-acting, effective against a broad spectrum of organisms, and do not bioaccumulate.’
    • ‘These compounds bioaccumulate in lipid-rich tissues of aquatic organisms including marine mammals.’
    • ‘Each of these compounds are important contaminants in biological systems as they readily bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the food chain.’
    • ‘It is possible that foods that bioaccumulate are more likely to be affected by the arsenic content in irrigation water.’
    • ‘When they seep into the water table, and into rivers, lakes, and oceans, PCBs bioaccumulate, moving up the food chain from the phytoplankton to the zooplankton to the fish.’
    • ‘PCBs are ubiquitous in the environment and they bioaccumulate through the food chain due to their high chemical stability and low rate of clearance.’
    • ‘Because PCBs bioaccumulate, they are found in large quantities in animals high up the food chain, especially those with lots of body fat.’
    • ‘Most are long-lived compounds and can bioaccumulate in the environment.’



/ˌbīōəˈkyo͞om(y)əˌlāt/ /ˌbaɪoʊəˈkjum(j)əˌleɪt/