de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər \

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

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, "7 pep talks to get you through the work week," 2 Apr. 2018 But snags are actually host to complex communities of decomposers — fungi, bacteria, bugs. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "What Frodo the Hobbit can teach scientists about protecting the planet," 10 July 2017 Greens provide the fuel for heating up the pile, and bacteria, which is the best decomposer, thrives in temperatures 122 degrees to 131 degrees. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Composting can enrich your garden soil," 11 May 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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The first known use of decomposer was in 1959

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More Definitions for decomposer


de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər \

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


de·​com·​pos·​er | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpō-zər \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decomposer Encyclopedia article about decomposer

Comments on decomposer

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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