ex·​cre·​tion | \ ik-ˈskrē-shən How to pronounce excretion (audio) \

Definition of excretion

1 : the act or process of excreting
2 : something excreted especially : metabolic waste products (such as urea and carbon dioxide) that are eliminated from the body

Examples of excretion in a Sentence

The kidneys are organs of excretion.
Recent Examples on the Web Both of these bone types (jawbones and pectoral fins) grow via the excretion of rows of osteoblasts (large cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 Feb. 2022 But how dog excretion affects nature reserves, which increasingly abut urban or populated areas, had yet to be analyzed. Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2022 Instead, it is caused by a mutation in an area between genes, resulting in the excretion of a toxic chemical that kills muscle cells. New York Times, 4 Nov. 2021 The virus spreads among common carp quickly by excretion or through the epidermis and gills. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, 18 Sep. 2021 Overall, study authors concluded that more research needed to be done regarding povidone iodine's effect on excretion and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Ashley Abramson, Health.com, 17 Sep. 2021 Large boluses of food remain in the digestive tracts of competitive eaters for days before excretion. James M. Smoliga, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021 Fortunately, the excretion is not a danger, much like the cicadas themselves. Julia Musto, Fox News, 27 May 2021 That’s sooty mold, a fungus that grows in the honeydew excretion of either aphids or scale insects. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excretion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of excretion

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of excretion was in 1578

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Cite this Entry

“Excretion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excretion. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for excretion


ex·​cre·​tion | \ ik-ˈskrē-shən How to pronounce excretion (audio) \

Kids Definition of excretion

1 : the act or process of separating and giving off cellular waste matter from the body excretion of urine
2 : waste material given off from the body


ex·​cre·​tion | \ ik-ˈskrē-shən How to pronounce excretion (audio) \

Medical Definition of excretion

1 : the act or process of excreting
2a : something eliminated by the process of excretion that is composed chiefly of urine or sweat in mammals including humans and of comparable materials in other animals, characteristically includes products of protein degradation (as urea or uric acid), usually differs from ordinary bodily secretions by lacking any further utility to the organism that produces it, and is distinguished from waste materials (as feces) that have merely passed into or through the digestive tract without being incorporated into the body proper
b : a waste product (as urine, feces, or vomit) eliminated from an animal body : excrement not used technically

More from Merriam-Webster on excretion

Nglish: Translation of excretion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excretion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about excretion


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