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 Midge larvae love eating algae and are what’s called a detritivore, Calabrese said. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Keep your eye out for midges! 5 facts about the plumed flies," 19 May 2020 Being a detritivore, the snail gets its nutrients primarily from eating rotted vegetation. National Geographic, "Partula snail," 26 Mar. 2020 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., "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

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The first known use of detritivore was in 1959

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Cite this Entry

“Detritivore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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