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[pyoo-truh-fahy] /ˈpyu trəˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), putrefied, putrefying.
to render putrid; cause to rot or decay with an offensive odor.
verb (used without object), putrefied, putrefying.
to become putrid; rot.
to become gangrenous.
Origin of putrefy
1350-1400; Middle English putrefien < Middle French putrefier < Vulgar Latin *putreficāre, for Latin putrefacere to make rotten
Related forms
putrefiable, adjective
putrefier, noun
unputrefiable, adjective
unputrefied, adjective
2. decompose, spoil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for putrefy


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
(of organic matter) to decompose or rot with an offensive smell
Derived Forms
putrefaction (ˌpjuːtrɪˈfækʃən) noun
putrefactive, putrefacient (ˌpjuːtrɪˈfeɪʃənt) adjective
putrefiable, adjective
putrefier, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French putrefier + Latin putrefacere, from puter rotten + facere to make
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 putrefy

mid-15c., from Middle French putréfier, from Latin putrefacere "to make rotten," from putrere (see putrid) + facere (see factitious). Related: Putrefied; putrefying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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putrefy in Medicine

putrefy pu·tre·fy (pyōō'trə-fī')
v. pu·tre·fied, pu·tre·fy·ing, pu·tre·fies

  1. To become decayed or cause to decay and have a foul odor.

  2. To make or become gangrenous.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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