biodegradable

adjective bio·de·grad·able \ -di-ˈgrā-də-bəl \

Definition of biodegradable

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

biodegradability

play \-ˌgrā-də-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

biodegradable

noun

biodegradation

play \-ˌde-grə-ˈdā-shən\ noun

biodegrade

play \-di-ˈgrād\ verb

Recent Examples of biodegradable from the Web

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

1959

Other Biochemistry Terms


BIODEGRADABLE Defined for English Language Learners

biodegradable

adjective

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

biodegradable

adjective bio·de·grad·able \ ˌbī-ō-di-ˈgrā-də-bəl \

Definition of biodegradable for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

biodegradable

adjective bio·de·grad·able \ -di-ˈgrād-ə-bəl \

medical Definition of biodegradable

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

biodegradability

play \-ˌgrād-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē\ noun plural -ties

biodegradation

play \-ˌdeg-rə-ˈdā-shən\ noun

biodegrade

play \-di-ˈgrād\ verb biodegraded; biodegrading


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