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 Singing similarly puts force behind the excretion, shooting it out like a geyser. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Can We Sing?," 10 June 2020 Applied to feces unearthed from sites around the world, the new method could help researchers unveil a trove of valuable information about a defecator’s diet, health, and perhaps—if the excretion contains enough usable DNA—identity. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Artificial Intelligence Gives Researchers the Scoop on Ancient Poop," 21 Apr. 2020 Higher numbers of viruses mean greater viral shedding, which is the expulsion and release of excretions infected with the virus. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "A real life 'Contagion': Humans may be to blame for viruses jumping from animals to us," 7 Apr. 2020 Just like an agricultural field, the system is productive because fertilizer — fish excretion — is added to it. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "U-M led research finds 'super-urinators' among fish that promote healthy ecosystems," 11 Mar. 2020 Taking ayahuasca would entail a potentially distressing night of hallucinations, and excretions of all kind, especially vomiting. Casey Schwartz, New York Times, "Taking Ayahuasca When You’re a Senior Citizen," 17 Oct. 2019 All that death does make one wish to prove that one is alive oneself, and that life offers something more exalted than excretion and suffering. Rachel Pearson, The New Yorker, "“The House of God,” a Book as Sexist as It Was Influential, Gets a Sequel," 25 Dec. 2019 According to the Humane Society, distemper is a highly contagious, often fatal airborne virus that is spread among dogs through body excretions and inhalation. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Arizona Humane Society confirms several cases of distemper; 4 dogs euthanized," 29 Jan. 2020 The drug, given intravenously, circulates to the tumor and gets tagged for excretion in the liver, where it is rendered harmless by the addition of a simple sugar. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "How Gut Microbes Shape Our Response to Drugs," 1 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler for excretion

Time Traveler

The first known use of excretion was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Statistics for excretion

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excretion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excretion. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excretion


How to pronounce excretion (audio)

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!