[ pyoo-truh-fahy ]
/ ˈpyu trəˌfaɪ /

verb (used with object), pu·tre·fied, pu·tre·fy·ing.

to render putrid; cause to rot or decay with an offensive odor.

verb (used without object), pu·tre·fied, pu·tre·fy·ing.

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


pu·tre·fi·a·ble, adjectivepu·tre·fi·er, nounun·pu·tre·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·pu·tre·fied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for putrefy

British Dictionary definitions for putrefy

/ (ˈpjuːtrɪˌfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied

(of organic matter) to decompose or rot with an offensive smell

Derived forms of putrefy

putrefaction (ˌpjuːtrɪˈfækʃən), nounputrefactive or putrefacient (ˌpjuːtrɪˈfeɪʃənt), adjectiveputrefiable, adjectiveputrefier, noun

Word Origin for putrefy

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

Medical definitions for putrefy

[ pyōōtrə-fī′ ]


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.