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[dee-kuh m-poh-zer] /ˌdi kəmˈpoʊ zər/
a person or thing that decomposes.
Ecology. an organism, usually a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down the cells of dead plants and animals into simpler substances.
Origin of decomposer
First recorded in 1815-25; decompose + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for decomposer
Historical Examples
  • 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)
  • 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
British Dictionary definitions for decomposer


(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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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decomposer in Science
See detritivore.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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