- to separate or resolve into constituent parts or elements; disintegrate: The bacteria decomposed the milk into its solid and liquid elements.
- to rot; putrefy: The egg began to decompose after a day in the sun.
Origin of decompose
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. distill, fractionate, analyze.
2. See decay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for decompose
He wants to take the fingers, let them decompose, then take the bones and make a finger bone necklace out of it.‘Kill Team’: The Documentary the Army Doesn’t Want You to See
July 26, 2014
Instead, as the body began to decompose, she spread baking soda on the floorboards to mask the smell.The Mummy Rode Shotgun
October 31, 2010
When the snow melted it looked like blood, as the red particles do not decompose.The Field of Ice
The city will be a charnel house when these bodies start to decompose.The End of Time
You cannot get anything out of iron but iron; you cannot decompose iron.The Story of a Tinder-box
Charles Meymott Tidy
By this time the husks will have begun to decompose and darken the kernels.
But if they do decompose, then it is not into any elements of Matter and physical energy.Fantasia of the Unconscious
D. H. Lawrence
- to break down (organic matter) or (of organic matter) to be broken down physically and chemically by bacterial or fungal action; rot
- chem to break down or cause to break down into simpler chemical compounds
- to break up or separate into constituent parts
- (tr) maths to express in terms of a number of independent simpler components, as a set as a canonical union of disjoint subsets, or a vector into orthogonal components
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for decompose
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper