Definition of decompose
decomposabilityplay \-ˌpō-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
decomposableplay \-ˈpō-zə-bəl\ adjective
decompositionplay \(ˌ)dē-ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\ noun
Examples of decompose in a Sentence
Bacteria and fungi help decompose organic matter.
the smell of decomposing leaves
The compound will decompose in the presence of light.
Recent Examples of decompose from the Web
The body was badly decomposed, sheriff's officials said in a news release.
Officials have launched a national search for the homeowner of an Idaho property where the dead bodies of three unidentified women — all gunshot victims — were found decomposing in a storage shed earlier this week.
Baltimore police have not yet identified a woman whose decomposing body was found Tuesday morning near Guilford Avenue and East Preston Street.
But the transient nature of some of the most recent artwork is distinctive: These artists are using products that are meant to decompose rapidly by design.
A St. Tammany Parish sheriff's deputy on a four-wheeler found her decomposing body seven days later along Interstate 12 west of Louisiana 21.
The body found was so badly decomposed, authorities couldn't immediately determine the gender.
Las Vegas police shared the tip with Centreville police, who found the small decomposed body wrapped in two blankets inside the detached garage of a dilapidated and vacant home in the impoverished town of about 6,000 residents.
A Dolton resident found a baby's decomposed body Wednesday afternoon in a shed, police said.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decompose'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of decompose
French décomposer, from dé- de + composer to compose
First Known Use: 1718See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of decompose
DECOMPOSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of decompose for English Language Learners
: to cause something (such as dead plants and the bodies of dead animals) to be slowly destroyed and broken down by natural processes, chemicals, etc.
: to cause something (such as a chemical) to be separated into smaller or simpler parts
DECOMPOSE Defined for Kids
Definition of decompose for Students
1 : to break down or be broken down into simpler parts or substances especially by the action of living things (as bacteria and fungi) Leaves decomposed on the forest floor.
2 : to separate a substance into simpler compounds Water can be decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen.
Medical Definition of decompose
decomposability\-ˌpō-zə-ˈbil-ət-ē\play noun plural
Seen and Heard
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