- to render putrid; cause to rot or decay with an offensive odor.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for putrefy on Thesaurus.com
2. decompose, spoil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for putrefy
The corpse thus sheltered from contact with the air does not putrefy.The Industries of Animals
All the remainder was left to putrefy, or be devoured by wild beasts.
Stay either to putrefy with pleasure or to be embalmed in dulness?The Journal of Arthur Stirling
Wounds carefully protected from contact with impure air do not suppurate, and organic fluids do not putrefy.
Thou makest the shells to swell, the wine to bubble, and the corpse to putrefy!Salammbo
- (of organic matter) to decompose or rot with an offensive smell
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
Word Origin and History for putrefy
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To become decayed or cause to decay and have a foul odor.
- 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.