• 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

Related Words for putrescent

disagreeable, putrid, tainted, musty, smelly, moldy, stale, fetid, soured, polluted, contaminated, noxious, rotting, disgusting, rancid, sour, spoiled, corrupt, overripe, addled

Examples from the Web for putrescent

Historical Examples of putrescent

  • 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 for putrescent

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.