def·​e·​cate | \ ˈde-fi-ˌkāt How to pronounce defecate (audio) \
defecated; defecating

Definition of defecate

intransitive verb

: to discharge feces from the bowels

transitive verb

12 : to discharge from the anus
2 : to free from impurity or corruption

Examples of defecate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of the foreigners allegedly defecated inside the Incan city. NBC News, "Peru to deport tourists for allegedly damaging, defecating at Machu Picchu," 15 Jan. 2020 Members of Register-Shaw’s team were mortified by reports of drivers urinating in bottles rather than taking bathroom breaks, and even defecating outside of customers’ homes. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network," 28 Dec. 2019 Fiber from the new growth of grass and browse causes deer to defecate more frequently—up to 27 times a day. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "9 Deer Pellet Facts That Can Help You Get Your Buck," 2 Dec. 2019 Up until 2015, over 960 million people worldwide had inadequate sanitation facilities and were defecating in the open. Cristina Bicchieri, Quartz India, "Clean India Mission shows that flexibility is key to even poo healthy," 1 Oct. 2019 Lebsack admitted to defecating on a portion of the train connecting a locomotive and boxcar during a Nov. 20, 2016 stop. Fox News, "Judge orders Union Pacific to rehire engineer who defecated on train," 23 Nov. 2019 The killings had caste overtones but were ostensibly for the crime of defecating outside. The Economist, "World Toilet Day this week is not a joke, but deadly serious," 17 Nov. 2019 The winner was determined by where the bovine defecated. cleveland, "North Royalton Harvest Fest beats the heat," 23 Sep. 2019 For the best part of a century, they have felt sickened as people defecated on, stripped naked on, and drove golf balls off this spot where Aboriginals believe that the spirits of ancestral beings continue to reside. National Geographic, "Why Australia is banning climbers from this iconic natural landmark," 15 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for defecate

Latin defaecatus, past participle of defaecare, from de- + faec-, faex dregs, lees

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Time Traveler for defecate

Time Traveler

The first known use of defecate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for defecate

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Defecate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for defecate


How to pronounce defecate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of defecate

formal : to pass solid waste from the body


variants: or chiefly British defaecate \ ˈdef-​i-​ˌkāt How to pronounce defaecate (audio) \
defecated; defecating

Medical Definition of defecate

transitive verb

: to discharge from the anus

intransitive verb

: to discharge feces from the bowels

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More from Merriam-Webster on defecate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defecate

Spanish Central: Translation of defecate

Nglish: Translation of defecate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defecate for Arabic Speakers

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