putrefaction

noun
pu·​tre·​fac·​tion | \ ˌpyü-trə-ˈfak-shən How to pronounce putrefaction (audio) \

Definition of putrefaction

1 : the decomposition of organic matter especially : the typically anaerobic splitting of proteins by bacteria and fungi with the formation of foul-smelling incompletely oxidized products
2 : the state of being putrefied : corruption

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Other Words from putrefaction

putrefactive \ ˌpyü-​trə-​ˈfak-​tiv How to pronounce putrefaction (audio) \ adjective

Examples of putrefaction in a Sentence

clearing the refrigerator of what the previous tenant had left behind was like taking a course in the advanced putrefaction of leftovers
Recent Examples on the Web The globe is smooth, the hand strokes its polished, multicolored surface, under the blue of distant waters and islands there is bleeding and putrefaction. Claudio Magris, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Such a consistent putrefaction pattern also comes as a surprise to others on the trail of early animal evolution. Katherine Harmon, Scientific American, 31 Jan. 2010 The putrefaction of the university, and of elite American and European culture more generally, has made the task of rebuilding liberal institutions an urgent one. Bruce Gilley, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2020 At its peak of putrefaction, the region featured more than two dozen horse-rendering plants, fish oil factories and garbage incinerators, turning Dead Horse Bay into one of New York’s most foul-smelling stretches of navigable water. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2020 His job had been to excavate the bomb shelters and basements to remove the rotting corpses before the entire city started to stink of human putrefaction. Rachel Lance, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Mar. 2020 All three methods delay the process of putrefaction. The Economist, 4 Oct. 2019 All three methods delay the process of putrefaction. The Economist, 4 Oct. 2019 All three methods delay the process of putrefaction. The Economist, 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'putrefaction.' 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 putrefaction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for putrefaction

Middle English putrefaccion, from Late Latin putrefaction-, putrefactio, from Latin putrefacere

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Time Traveler for putrefaction

Time Traveler

The first known use of putrefaction was in the 14th century

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Statistics for putrefaction

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Putrefaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/putrefaction. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for putrefaction

putrefaction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of putrefaction

: the process or result of decaying

putrefaction

noun
pu·​tre·​fac·​tion | \ ˌpyü-trə-ˈfak-shən How to pronounce putrefaction (audio) \

Medical Definition of putrefaction

1 : the decomposition of organic matter especially : the typically anaerobic splitting of proteins by bacteria and fungi with the formation of foul-smelling incompletely oxidized products
2 : the state of being putrefied

More from Merriam-Webster on putrefaction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for putrefaction

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about putrefaction

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