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Synthesis vs. Biosynthesis — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 3, 2023
Synthesis involves combining parts to form a whole, while Biosynthesis specifically refers to the formation of complex substances within living organisms. Both relate to creation but differ in application context.
Synthesis vs. Biosynthesis — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Synthesis and Biosynthesis


Key Differences

"Synthesis" encapsulates the act of combining various elements to generate a whole. Contrarily, "Biosynthesis" exclusively pertains to living organisms where they produce complex compounds from simpler ones, entwining biology into synthesis.
Typically, "Synthesis" is a broad term and could refer to creating any complex item or theory from simpler parts or ideas. Unlike "Synthesis," "Biosynthesis" is narrowly defined and only discusses processes of production within a biological context, particularly within an organism.
A "Synthesis" of ideas or materials doesn't necessarily involve living organisms or biological processes. In stark contrast, "Biosynthesis" implicitly involves living organisms, since "bio" implies life or living organisms, emphasizing biology-centric creation.
Chemical "Synthesis" might involve creating compounds in a lab through chemical reactions, irrespective of living organisms. "Biosynthesis," even if it involves chemical compounds, specifies that the creation of these compounds occurs within a living organism.
To elaborate further, "Synthesis" can occur in various fields like chemistry, philosophy, or music, indicating a joining of parts. However, "Biosynthesis" stays strictly in the scientific, biological realm, involving metabolic processes to form complex compounds from simpler ones.

Comparison Chart


Combining to form a whole
Formation in living organisms

Application Context

General and broad
Specifically biological

Involvement of Organisms

Not necessary
Yes, mandatory


Can be applied widely
Applied in biological science

Relatability to Biology

Not specific
Direct and explicit

Compare with Definitions


In philosophy, synthesis can mean reconciling different theories.
His work provides a synthesis between two opposing schools of thought.


Biosynthesis is the production of complex molecules within living organisms.
Insulin biosynthesis is crucial for regulating glucose.


Synthesis can mean the combination of thesis and antithesis in dialectics.
The synthesis emerges more enriched than its preceding affirmations.


Biosynthesis involves enzymatic processes in cells.
Fatty acid biosynthesis occurs in the cellular cytoplasm.


Synthesis in chemistry is making compounds from simpler substances.
The laboratory specializes in the synthesis of rare chemicals.


Biosynthesis can be an anabolic pathway within organisms.
Amino acid biosynthesis is vital for protein formation.


In music, synthesis refers to generating sounds electronically.
The musician used synthesis to create unique sounds.


Biosynthesis involves forming complex substances from simpler precursors.
Cholesterol biosynthesis is pivotal for cellular membrane stability.


The combining of separate elements or substances to form a coherent whole.


Biosynthesis can be regulated by genetic expression.
Gene mutations can potentially alter neurotransmitter biosynthesis.


The complex whole so formed.


Biosynthesis is a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process where substrates are converted into more complex products in living organisms. In biosynthesis, simple compounds are modified, converted into other compounds, or joined together to form macromolecules.


(Chemistry) Formation of a compound from simpler compounds or elements.


Formation of a chemical compound by a living organism. Also called biogenesis.


Reasoning from the general to the particular; logical deduction.


(biochemistry) The synthesis of organic compounds within a living organism, especially the synthesis of large compounds from small ones.


The combination of thesis and antithesis in the Hegelian dialectical process whereby a new and higher level of truth is produced.


Production of a chemical compound by a living organism.


The formation of something complex or coherent by combining simpler things.


The production of chemical substances by use of reagents or enzymes derived from living organisms, in reactions modeled on those observed in living organisms.


(signal processing) Creation of a complex waveform by summation of simpler waveforms.


Production of a chemical compound by a living organism


(chemistry) The reaction of elements or compounds to form more complex compounds.


(logic) A deduction from the general to the particular.


(philosophy) The combination of thesis and antithesis.


(military) In intelligence usage, the examining and combining of processed information with other information and intelligence for final interpretation.


(rhetoric) An apt arrangement of elements of a text, especially for euphony.


(grammar) The uniting of ideas into a sentence.


(medicine) The reunion of parts that have been divided.


Composition, or the putting of two or more things together, as in compounding medicines.


The art or process of making a compound by putting the ingredients together, as contrasted with analysis; thus, water is made by synthesis from hydrogen and oxygen; hence, specifically, the building up of complex compounds by special reactions, whereby their component radicals are so grouped that the resulting substances are identical in every respect with the natural articles when such occur; thus, artificial alcohol, urea, indigo blue, alizarin, etc., are made by synthesis.


The combination of separate elements of thought into a whole, as of simple into complex conceptions, species into genera, individual propositions into systems; - the opposite of analysis.
Analysis and synthesis, though commonly treated as two different methods, are, if properly understood, only the two necessary parts of the same method. Each is the relative and correlative of the other.


The process of producing a chemical compound (usually by the union of simpler chemical compounds)


The combination of ideas into a complex whole


Reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)


Synthesis involves combining elements to form a whole.
The research paper was a synthesis of several studies.

Common Curiosities

What defines biosynthesis?

Biosynthesis involves living organisms producing complex molecules from simpler substances.

What is synthesis?

Synthesis refers to combining various components to create a unified whole.

How is synthesis applied broadly?

Synthesis can be applied in various contexts, such as chemical production, philosophical ideas, or music.

Can synthesis involve biological processes?

While synthesis can involve biological aspects, it is not specifically confined to biological contexts like biosynthesis.

Does biosynthesis occur outside of organisms?

No, biosynthesis specifically pertains to processes within living organisms.

Is synthesis specific to any scientific domain?

No, synthesis is a broad term and can be used across various scientific and non-scientific domains.

Can biosynthesis be manipulated?

Yes, scientists can manipulate biosynthesis through genetic engineering or by altering metabolic pathways.

Is biosynthesis always natural?

Biosynthesis naturally occurs in organisms, though it can be studied and modified in lab settings.

How is synthesis different from combination?

Synthesis involves creating a unified whole with intentional design, while combination might lack a deliberate arrangement or design.

Is biosynthesis a type of synthesis?

Yes, biosynthesis can be considered a specialized type of synthesis occurring within living organisms.

What does biosynthesis yield?

Biosynthesis typically yields complex molecules essential for the organism's function and survival.

Is synthesis relevant in music?

Yes, synthesis in music refers to electronically combining or creating sounds.

Can synthesis occur in a lab?

Yes, synthesis, especially chemical synthesis, commonly occurs in laboratory settings.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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