detritivore

noun
de·​tri·​ti·​vore | \ di-ˈtrī-tə-ˌvȯr How to pronounce detritivore (audio) \

Definition of detritivore

: an organism (such as an earthworm or a fungus) that feeds on dead and decomposing organic matter

Examples of detritivore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All parts of the food chain were attracted to the reefs, including herbivores, detritivores, planktivores and predatory piscivores, the researchers found. Fox News, "Dying coral reefs could be saved by playing sounds of healthy coral reefs from speakers," 3 Dec. 2019 The discussion about detritivores, which process waste material into soil by way of their own humus-like waste material. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 These non-insect arthropods are usually detritivores (feed on decaying plant material), but can and do sometimes feed on vegetables, particularly root vegetables like carrots and sugar beets. OregonLive.com, "Help! My tomatoes are dying: Ask an expert," 31 Mar. 2018

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

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for detritivore

International Scientific Vocabulary detritus + -i- + -vore (from Latin -vorus -vorous)

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Time Traveler for detritivore

Time Traveler

The first known use of detritivore was in 1959

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Last Updated

16 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Detritivore.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detritivore. Accessed 23 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on detritivore

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about detritivore

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