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 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 Males deposit little packets of sperm called spermatophores along the bottom of vernal pools, and females pick up the spermatophores in their cloaca, a multipurpose opening at the base of the tail that’s used for excretion and reproduction. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Mar. 2021 Data is also not available to assess the effects of the vaccine on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion. Bethany Blankley, Washington Examiner, 15 Jan. 2021 That is the excretion of sap that passes through the bodies of those sucking insects. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, 19 Nov. 2020 Of course, there’s a second major animal excretion. Harold Mcgee, Wired, 6 Nov. 2020 Conditions like diabetes, kidney disease and ulcerative colitis can also reduce zinc absorption and increase its excretion. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 5 Oct. 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, 20 Apr. 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.

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First Known Use of excretion

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for excretion

Time Traveler

The first known use of excretion was in 1578

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Statistics for excretion

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excretion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excretion. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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

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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