biodegradable

adjective
bio·​de·​grad·​able | \ ˌbī-(ˌ)ō-di-ˈgrā-də-bəl How to pronounce biodegradable (audio) \

Definition of biodegradable

: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (such as microorganisms) biodegradable trash bags

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Other Words from biodegradable

biodegradability \ ˌbī-​(ˌ)ō-​di-​ˌgrā-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce biodegradability (audio) \ noun
biodegradable noun, plural biodegradables
"… we would never discourage the development of technologies that promote recyclables or biodegradables. [=biodegradable materials]" — Ruth Lampi
biodegradation \ ˌbī-​(ˌ)ō-​ˌde-​grə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce biodegradation (audio) \ noun
biodegrade \ ˌbī-​(ˌ)ō-​di-​ˈgrād How to pronounce biodegrade (audio) \ verb

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.

Examples of biodegradable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Also, Tencel fibers are biodegradable and compostable; however, Good Housekeeping’s environmental consultant explains that this isn’t necessarily a best practice because any dyes and finishes from the fabric would end up in the soil along with it. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Tencel Fabric," 23 May 2019 Empty cans, bottles, plastic, and discarded climbing gear litter the Base Camp, to the extent that a military helicopter has been brought in to take the non-biodegradable trash to nearby Kathmandu. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "There's Way Too Much Trash on Mt. Everest," 1 May 2019 The best thing to do to protect surrounding flower beds and the general environment is to opt for biodegradable soaps and supplies. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Installing an Outdoor Shower," 11 Apr. 2019 To avoid that issue, Avocado Mattress uses a 100% natural latex made from the pure rubber sap of Hevea Brasiliensis trees to create a cushioning base that's durable, breathable, biodegradable, and Greenguard Gold Certified by UL Environment. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "A Beginner's Guide to Making Your Home More Sustainable," 1 Apr. 2019 The mask is not just biodegradable but compostable too. Megan Mcintyre, Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "11 New Innovations in Sustainable Beauty from Around the Globe," 18 Apr. 2019 Some claim to be biodegradable, but landfill conditions don’t allow these materials to break down quickly. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "8 Best Yoga Mats to Buy in 2019, According to Yoga and Wellness Experts," 28 Jan. 2019 Other than being biodegradable, leather doesn’t save us from that. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "The HP Spectre Folio is a leather-clad laptop that's luxurious," 1 Oct. 2018 Since trees are naturally biodegradable (artificial trees are a different story, of course), recycling your Christmas tree helps balance out some of the environmental impact that buying one has in the first place. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Recycling Your Christmas Tree," 20 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of biodegradable

1959, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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The first known use of biodegradable was in 1959

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More Definitions for biodegradable

biodegradable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of biodegradable

: capable of being slowly destroyed and broken down into very small parts by natural processes, bacteria, etc.

biodegradable

adjective
bio·​de·​grad·​able | \ ˌbī-ō-di-ˈgrā-də-bəl How to pronounce biodegradable (audio) \

Kids Definition of biodegradable

: possible to break down into very small harmless parts by the action of living things (as bacteria)

biodegradable

adjective
bio·​de·​grad·​able | \ -di-ˈgrād-ə-bəl How to pronounce biodegradable (audio) \

Medical Definition of biodegradable

: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (as microorganisms)

Other Words from biodegradable

biodegradability \ -​ˌgrād-​ə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce biodegradability (audio) \ noun, plural biodegradabilities
biodegradation \ -​ˌdeg-​rə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce biodegradation (audio) \ noun
biodegrade \ -​di-​ˈgrād How to pronounce biodegrade (audio) \ verb biodegraded; biodegrading

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More from Merriam-Webster on biodegradable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with biodegradable

Spanish Central: Translation of biodegradable

Nglish: Translation of biodegradable for Spanish Speakers

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