Anaerobic means "without oxygen." Anaerobic bacteria, unlike humans, don't need oxygen to survive.

Aerobic means "needing or using oxygen." Think about aerobic activity, also called "cardio," like running, biking, or yes, taking an aerobics class at your local gym. That heart-pumping exercise makes your lungs take in more oxygen to keep you moving. Anaerobic is the opposite of aerobic. It means "without oxygen." Weight lifting is called an anaerobic exercise, because it doesn't require additional oxygen.

Definitions of anaerobic
  1. adjective
    not aerobic
    “isometric exercises are anaerobic
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    based on or using the principles of aerobics; enhancing respiratory and circulatory efficiency
  2. adjective
    living or active in the absence of free oxygen
    anaerobic bacteria”
    synonyms: anaerobiotic
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    aerobic, aerophilic, aerophilous
    depending on free oxygen or air
    living or active only in the presence of oxygen
    taking place in the presence of oxygen
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