Definition of biodegradable
: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (such as microorganisms) biodegradable trash bags
biodegradabilityplay \-ˌgrā-də-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
biodegradationplay \-ˌde-grə-ˈdā-shən\ noun
biodegradeplay \-di-ˈgrād\ verb
Recent Examples of biodegradable from the Web
Cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and tossing one on the ground is still considered a socially acceptable form of littering in many countries.
However, biodegradable straws cost up to eight times as much as plastic straws.
To avoid contributing to the river's pollution, the store will carry green, biodegradable lubes and solvents.
Their efforts come as food and beverage companies are not only looking for biodegradable containers —
In 100,000 German households, for instance, chemical giant BASF is testing food bags and packaging made from its Ecoflex bioplastic, which contains a biodegradable petrochemical polymer.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biodegradable'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In biodegradable, with its root grad, "to step or move", and its prefix de- "downward", we get an adjective describing things that can be broken down into basic substances through normal environmental processes. Animal and plant products are normally biodegradable, but mineral substances such as metals, glass, and plastics usually are not. Newly developed biodegradable plastics are now appearing in numerous products. However, "biodegradable" products can vary greatly in how long they take to break down. A loaf of bread may require only a couple of weeks, and a piece of paper may vanish in a couple of months, but some "biodegradable" plastic milk cartons may take four or five years.
First Known Use of biodegradable
BIODEGRADABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of biodegradable for English Language Learners
: capable of being slowly destroyed and broken down into very small parts by natural processes, bacteria, etc.
BIODEGRADABLE Defined for Kids
Definition of biodegradable for Students
: possible to break down into very small harmless parts by the action of living things (as bacteria)
Medical Definition of biodegradable
: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (as microorganisms)
biodegradability\-ˌgrād-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē\play noun plural
Seen and Heard
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