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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 ?
* Bark is decorative, decomposes slowly and adds nutrients to the soil
A decomposition of a multigraph G is a partition of its edge set into edge disjoint subgraphs [H.sub.1],[H.sub.2],..., [H.sub.k] of G; if each [H.sub.i], i [member of] [1, k] is isomorphic to a graph H then we have an H-decomposition of G and we say that H decomposes G.
However, the former method is unable to sufficiently decompose cyanogen compounds and the latter method is costly.
--Determining suitable environmental condition and appropriate microbes to decompose oil polluted in vitro.
Traditional biodegradable plastic bags are significantly more expensive than conventional bags, and they are not a great environmental choice because they release methane (a potent greenhouse gas) when they decompose. They are also prone to leaks or tears while being used.
The bags can be tied up and placed in the corner of the garden, where the leaves will decompose and can be used the following spring.
The combination of MSABP and ELCAT enables Teijin's system to efficiently decompose and eliminate a wide variety of persistent organic substances, resulting in a wastewater treatment process that complies with environmental regulations and significantly reduces dilution-water requirements.
They will show that not only does the total effect of the intervention decompose into a direct effect and an indirect effect mediated through classroom quality but also that the indirect effect itself decomposes into an effect mediated through the quality of a child's own classroom and a spillover effect from the quality of the other classrooms at a school.
I've heard conflicting reports regarding how long it really takes for a plastic grocery bag to decompose. Can you set the record straight?--Martha Blount, San Diego, CA
Extensive tests on the products, carried out by Lincoln & York, show that the metalized packaging decomposes within one year and the transparent packaging takes just six to seven months to decompose.
Crop residues decompose into soil organic matter, which provides nutrients to crops, limits erosion, and helps retain soil moisture.
They found that plastics believed to be virtually indestructible decompose with surprising speed in the sea.