Are these synonyms or is there a difference in usage that I should be aware of. Animal Pak wasn't much help......
Anabolism (adjective is anabolic) simply means to build up complex materials from simple materials. This can be used for muscle protein anabolism, energy substrate anabolism, bone anabolism, etc.
Hypertrophy (adj. hypertrophic) is the specific type of anabolism pertaining to tissue size where the size is increased by enlarging existing cells. This usually results from anabolic processes.
You're right, shades of meaning. If you're talking about getting bigger muscles they're basically synonomous, though anabolic events don't necessarily have to be hypertrophic.