decompose

[ dee-kuhm-pohz ]
/ ˌdi kəmˈpoʊz /

verb (used with object), de·com·posed, de·com·pos·ing.

to separate or resolve into constituent parts or elements; disintegrate: The bacteria decomposed the milk into its solid and liquid elements.

verb (used without object), de·com·posed, de·com·pos·ing.

to rot; putrefy: The egg began to decompose after a day in the sun.

Origin of decompose

1745–55; < French décomposer, equivalent to dé- dis-1 + composer to compose

Related forms

de·com·pos·a·ble, adjectivede·com·pos·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·de·com·pos·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

2. See decay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decompose

British Dictionary definitions for decompose

decompose

/ (ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊz) /

verb

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

Derived Forms

decomposable, adjectivedecomposability, noundecomposition (ˌdiːkɒmpəˈzɪʃən), 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