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

Examples of saprophytic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Life and Death While fungi play critical roles in keeping plants alive, saprophytic fungi also are there in death, prompting the breakdown of organic material. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2021 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'saprophytic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 30 May. 2024.

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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