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 Your cat might be fine with peeing on clay litter but prefer to defecate in a box filled with sandy clumping litter. Star Tribune, "Keep cat going inside the box," 29 Jan. 2021 Paleontologists reconstructed a dinosaur cloacal vent for the first time, giving insight into how dinosaurs may have used this opening to defecate, urinate, breed and lay eggs—just like birds and reptiles do today. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "3-D Reconstruction of Fossil Reveals Secret Sex Life of Dinosaurs," 21 Jan. 2021 Patrick became concerned that Kevin would defecate. Justine Van Der Leun, The New Republic, "“No Choice but to Do It”: Why Women Go to Prison," 17 Dec. 2020 At one protest, people pretended to defecate on a photo of Mao. Barbara Demick, The New York Review of Books, "China’s Clampdown on Hong Kong," 3 Nov. 2020 Finally, around three or four months old, their external genitalia begins to develop, and pandas can finally defecate and urinate on their own. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Born blind, pink, and entirely helpless, here’s how giant pandas grow up," 6 Oct. 2020 The bears don’t eat, defecate or urinate while bundled up in their dens, but females give birth to cubs. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Cast Your Votes for Fat Bear Week’s Chunky Champion," 30 Sep. 2020 Oh, and turkey vultures also urinate and defecate on their own legs to keep cool. René A. Guzman,, "S.A.’s Common Critters: Turkey vultures, black vultures more than just Mother Nature’s cleanup crew," 22 Sep. 2020 Kleinman said residents should not have to see people urinate and defecate in the streets. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "As Dallas crafts budget to address social justice, an old problem resurfaces: panhandling," 11 Aug. 2020

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

12 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defecate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for defecate



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 defecate (audio) \
defecated; defecating

Medical Definition of defecate

transitive verb

: to discharge from the anus

intransitive verb

: to discharge feces from the bowels

More from Merriam-Webster on defecate

Nglish: Translation of defecate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defecate for Arabic Speakers

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