[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for decomposer

  • 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

/ (ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzə) /


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 environmentSee also consumer (def. 3), producer (def. 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

Scientific definitions for decomposer

[ dē′kəm-pōzər ]

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