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1. To resolve a compound into its component parts; to disintegrate.
2. To decay; to putrefy.
[L. de, from, down, + com-pono, pp. -positus, to put together]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


v. decom·posed, decom·posing, decom·poses
1. To separate into components or basic elements.
2. To cause to rot.
1. To become broken down into components; disintegrate.
2. To decay; rot or putrefy.

de′com·pos′a·bil′i·ty n.
de′com·pos′a·ble adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At the time of the pre-interview three students had p-prims that allowed them to correctly identify bacteria, worms, and mushrooms as decomposers. Other students named bacteria, worms, and mushrooms as being a part of the ecosystem depicted in their MBA's but did not identify these organisms as decomposers.
Future research would be needed to determine which decomposers (fungi, bacteria or invertebrates) are most likely to be strongly influencing the reduced litter decomposition recorded in the present study.
The decomposer hike took place outside the visitor center along the same looping trail as adopt-a-tree.
Mr Kang said the waste decomposer was a fairly new venture and they had only produced about 3,500 so far, but they hoped to produce a lot more and develop a larger venture which could be used by restaurants.
It found that a low density of ants in an area increased the diversity and density of other animals in the local area, particularly the density of herbivores and decomposers. At higher densities ants had no or the opposite effect, showing that predation is counteracting the positive influence.
Fungi are critical components of ecosystems, functioning as decomposers, mutualists and pathogens.
The girls then built a bug hotel to provide a habitat for insects and hibernating animals and a log pile to encourage decomposers to broaden the ecology in this area.
"The tropics is a place for happy plants and less happy" decomposers, said study leader Michael Kaspari, a zoologist at the University of Oklahoma.
These adroit decomposers perform that essential role by producing specialized enzymes.