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decomposer

[dee-kuh m-poh-zer] /ˌdi kəmˈpoʊ zər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that decomposes.
2.
Ecology. an organism, usually a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down the cells of dead plants and animals into simpler substances.
Origin of decomposer
1815-1825
1815-25; decompose + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for decomposer
Historical Examples
  • However, he said nothing, and felt sure his morphia could not be detected in beer by any decomposer but the stomach.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • You put in a good inferior article of plumbing,—such as you find everywhere—and add my decomposer, and there you are.

    The American Claimant Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for decomposer

decomposer

/ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzə/
noun
1.
(ecology) any organism in a community, such as a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down dead tissue enabling the constituents to be recycled to the environment See also consumer (sense 3), producer (sense 8)
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
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Word Origin and History for decomposer
n.

1833, "a decomposing agent," agent noun from decompose.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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decomposer in Science
decomposer
  (dē'kəm-pō'zər)   
See detritivore.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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