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 putrefactive (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 indicators change color to red or brilliant purple with the presence of the byproducts of putrefaction. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Seven Inventions For a Safer Fourth of July," 3 July 2019 The putrefaction of the rotting leviathans was so violent that several curious onlookers dropped dead after taking a whiff. Nathaniel Rich, Harper's magazine, "Ruina Mundi," 10 May 2019 Bodies are still being pulled from the ruins and the smell of putrefaction hangs in the air. The Economist, "Iraq’s recaptured territory is being neglected," 12 Oct. 2017 For miles at a stretch, the only landmarks were corpses: foxes, raccoons, armadillos in various states of putrefaction on the margins of the Interstate. Mark O’connell, New York Times, "600 Miles in a Coffin-Shaped Bus, Campaigning Against Death Itself," 9 Feb. 2017 These deposits are believed to be formed by the decay and putrefaction of living organisms. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The World's Oldest Fossils Unearthed in Canada," 1 Mar. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near putrefaction

put-put

Putrajaya

putrefacient

putrefaction

putrefiable

putrefier

putrefy

Statistics for putrefaction

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for putrefaction

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on putrefaction

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with putrefaction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for putrefaction

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about putrefaction

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