decomposer

noun
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.

See More

First Known Use of decomposer

1959, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decomposer

Share decomposer

Statistics for decomposer

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decomposer

The first known use of decomposer was in 1959

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for decomposer

decomposer

noun
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

decomposer

noun
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

See words that rhyme with decomposer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decomposer

Comments on decomposer

What made you want to look up decomposer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!