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

On top of that, smaller people produce less waste (think carbon dioxide and other bodily excretions), which translates to lower demands on spacecraft systems designed to recycle and remove that junk. National Geographic, "Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight," 17 June 2019 In addition, the kidneys rapidly filter the molecules out of the blood for excretion—a benefit when the cargo is radioactive. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Mini-antibodies discovered in sharks and camels could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases," 10 May 2018 Police transported the man to a detox facility and cited him for public excretion. Samantha Swindler, OregonLive.com, "Would-be renter leaves beer in cabin that's really a dog house: Forest Grove police log," 12 Mar. 2018 The Houston Health Department said oak, pine and ash trees will be particularly high in pollen excretion. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Be warned, Houston: Tree pollen will be high this weekend," 9 Mar. 2018 One room is only for excretion, because groundhogs are very clean animals. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Olmsted Falls Mayor continues budget cuts laying off five city employees," 31 Jan. 2018 These may include plants, minerals and even animal excretions. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "FDA takes on homeopathic drugs with potential safety risks," 19 Dec. 2017 Lead and gout have been linked; lead exposure is suspected as a cause of gout by inhibiting urinary uric acid excretion. Philly.com, "For Franklin, it came down to lifestyle, family history," 8 Oct. 2017 For month by month, the menstrual excretion takes away her sins. Puja Changoiwala, SELF, "Why India's Widespread Period Shaming Must End," 25 Sep. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of excretion

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excretion

Statistics for excretion

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for excretion

The first known use of excretion was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excretion



English Language Learners Definition of excretion

: the act or process of passing waste from the body : the process of excreting waste
: waste passed from the body : excreted matter


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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on excretion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with excretion

Spanish Central: Translation of excretion

Nglish: Translation of excretion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excretion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about excretion

Comments on excretion

What made you want to look up excretion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!