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

But these decomposers just want the tasty packages of dead tissues and biominerals all to themselves. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian, "How Do Fossils Form?," 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, "Amphibian 'apocalypse' caused by most destructive pathogen ever," 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, "Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?," 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, "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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decomposer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decomposer

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