Definition of decompose
- decompose water by electrolysis
- decompose a word into its base and affixes
Bacteria and fungi help decompose organic matter.
the smell of decomposing leaves
The compound will decompose in the presence of light.
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.
First Known Use: 1718See Words from the same year
fall apart, go to seed (or run to seed);
: 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
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