decomposer

noun
de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər How to pronounce decomposer (audio) \

Definition of decomposer

: any of various organisms (such as many bacteria and fungi) that return constituents of organic substances to ecological cycles by feeding on and breaking down dead protoplasm — compare consumer, producer sense 4

Examples of decomposer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Farmers in the region have been given a liquid decomposer to spray on their fields to break down stubble into organic fertilizer instead of burning, although the program is still considered in its trial phase. Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2021 As primary decomposers, mushrooms break down the organic matter of dead plants and animals. Popular Science, 13 May 2020 Scavengers scavenge, predators predate, decomposers decompose. New York Times, 22 Nov. 2019 But these decomposers just want the tasty packages of dead tissues and biominerals all to themselves. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian, 8 June 2019 Origins of a killer There are hundreds of species of chytrid fungi, and most of them are unobtrusive decomposers. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, 28 Mar. 2019 Atmospheric nitrogen gets churned through a series of chemical states by a diverse assortment of bacteria, plants and decomposers like fungi performing different reactions. Quanta Magazine, 20 Nov. 2018 Just as bodies are broken down in death by decomposers, every bit of them transformed into the matter that nourishes new life, so is the creative process a constant cycle. NBC News, 2 Apr. 2018 But snags are actually host to complex communities of decomposers — fungi, bacteria, bugs. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, 10 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decomposer.' 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 decomposer

1959, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for decomposer

Time Traveler

The first known use of decomposer was in 1959

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Dictionary Entries Near decomposer

decompose

decomposer

decomposite

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Statistics for decomposer

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decomposer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decomposer. Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for decomposer

decomposer

noun
de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər How to pronounce decomposer (audio) \

Kids Definition of decomposer

: a living thing (as a bacterium, fungus, or insect) that feeds on and breaks down plant and animal matter into simpler parts or substances

decomposer

noun
de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər How to pronounce decomposer (audio) \

Medical Definition of decomposer

: any of various organisms (as many bacteria and fungi) that return constituents of organic substances to ecological cycles by feeding on and breaking down dead protoplasm

More from Merriam-Webster on decomposer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decomposer

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