• synonyms


[pyoo-tres-uh nt]
See more synonyms for putrescent on Thesaurus.com
  1. becoming putrid; undergoing putrefaction.
  2. of or relating to putrefaction.
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Origin of putrescent

1725–35; < Latin putrēscent- (stem of putrēscēns), present participle of putrēscere to grow rotten
Related formspu·tres·cence, pu·tres·cen·cy, nounnon·pu·tres·cence, nounnon·pu·tres·cent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for putrescent

Historical Examples

  • Digger Indians are left to do that when the meat is putrescent.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866


  • They proved to be the lancet which cut the putrescent sore of the rising world.

    The Insect

    Jules Michelet

  • But from the putrescent mass of flesh, we salvaged a second jewel from Aptor.

    The Jewels of Aptor

    Samuel R. Delany

  • The putrescent are composed of decayed, or decaying, vegetable and animal substances.

    Soil Culture

    J. H. Walden

  • The disease so putrescent in its tendencies, had originated in animal putrefaction.

British Dictionary definitions for putrescent


  1. becoming putrid; rotting
  2. characterized by or undergoing putrefaction
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Derived Formsputrescence, noun

Word Origin

C18: from Latin putrescere to become rotten
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 putrescent


1732, a back-formation from putrescence, or else from Latin putrescentem (nominative putrescens), present participle of putrescere "grow rotten, moulder, decay," inchoative of putrere "be rotten" (see putrid).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

putrescent in Medicine


  1. Becoming putrid; putrefying.
  2. Of or relating to putrefaction.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.