saprophytic

adjective

sap·​ro·​phyt·​ic ˌsa-prə-ˈfi-tik How to pronounce saprophytic (audio)
: obtaining food by absorbing dissolved organic material
especially : obtaining nourishment from the products of organic breakdown and decay
saprophytic fungi
saprophytically adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web If that’s the case, this could be a saprophytic fungus developing off that tissue. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, 12 Nov. 2020 Your thumbnail photo is quite small and quite dark, but these are some type of saprophytic fungal growth that is present because the branches were dead. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, 28 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saprophytic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saprophytic was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near saprophytic

Cite this Entry

“Saprophytic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saprophytic. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

saprophytic

adjective

sap·​ro·​phyt·​ic ˌsap-rə-ˈfit-ik How to pronounce saprophytic (audio)
: obtaining food by absorbing dissolved organic material
especially : obtaining nourishment osmotically from the products of organic breakdown and decay
saprophytic fungi
saprophytically adverb
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