[ bahy-oh-di-grey-duh-buhl ]
See synonyms for biodegradable on
  1. capable of decaying through the action of living organisms: biodegradable paper; biodegradable detergent.

Origin of biodegradable

First recorded in 1960–65; bio- + degrade + -able

Other words from biodegradable

  • bi·o·de·grad·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·bi·o·de·grad·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby biodegradable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use biodegradable in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for biodegradable


/ (ˌbaɪəʊdɪˈɡreɪdəbəl) /

  1. (of sewage constituents, packaging material, etc) capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other biological means

Derived forms of biodegradable

  • biodegradation (ˌbaɪəʊˌdɛɡrəˈdeɪʃən), noun
  • biodegradability (ˌbaɪəʊˌdɛɡreɪdɪˈbɪlɪtɪ), noun

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

Scientific definitions for biodegradable


[ bī′ō-dĭ-grādə-bəl ]

  1. Capable of being decomposed by the action of biological agents, especially bacteria.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for biodegradable


[ (beye-oh-di-gray-duh-buhl) ]

Material that, left to itself, will be decomposed by natural processes.

Notes for biodegradable

The use of biodegradable packaging is supposed to reduce the volume of waste in landfills.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.