: to separate into constituent parts or elements or into simpler compounds <decompose water by electrolysis> <decompose a word into its base and affixes>
Examples of DECOMPOSE
- Bacteria and fungi help decompose organic matter.
- the smell of decomposing leaves
- The compound will decompose in the presence of light.
Origin of DECOMPOSE
de + composer
First Known Use: 1718
Related to DECOMPOSE
- break down, corrupt, decay, disintegrate, fester, foul, mold, molder, perish [chiefly British], putrefy, rot, spoil
See Synonym Discussion at decay
de·com·pose verb \ˌdē-kəm-ˈpōz\ (Medical Dictionary)
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