Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To reduce to powder; pulverize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pulverize; to smash.
  • v. To cause fragmentation of bone, an intense skull fracture.
  • v. To break into smaller portions.
  • n. pulverized material

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To reduce to minute particles, or to a fine powder; to pulverize; to triturate; to grind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make small or fine; reduce to minute particles or to a fine powder by breaking, pounding, braying, rasping, or grinding; pulverize; triturate, levigate.
  • Divided into small parts; comminuted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading

Etymologies

Latin comminuere, comminūt- : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + minuere, to lessen; see mei-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • Some paleobotanists study plant remains that have been abraded or degraded into microscopic fragments preserved in rocks and sediments. In the paleobotanical literature one can find references to such fragments described as being comminuted, macerated, or masticated, depending on whether the remains were broken up by mechanical means such as stream transport, wave action, or natural decay (comminuted or macerated) or by chewing and digestive processes (masticated).

    December 31, 2008