noun sap·ro·pel \ˈsaprəˌpel\

Definition of sapropel



  1. 1 :  a slimy sediment of marine, estuarine, or lacustrine deposition consisting largely of organic debris derived from aquatic plants and animals

  2. 2 :  kerogen

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of sapropel

International Scientific Vocabulary sapr- + -pel (from Greek pēlos clay, mud) — more at pel-

Seen and Heard

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


capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!