American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or result of decomposing; disintegration.
- n. Chemistry Separation into constituents by chemical reaction.
- n. Biology Breakdown or decay of organic materials.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act or process of separating the constituent elements of a compound body or substance; analysis; resolution; specifically, the process of reducing an organic body to a state of decay or putrefaction.
- n. The state of being decomposed or resolved; release from previous combinations; disintegration; specifically, decay of an organic body.
- n. [With ref. to decomposite, q. v.] The act of compounding together things which are themselves compound; a combination of compounds.
- n. A biological process through which organic material is reduced to e.g. compost
- n. The act of taking something apart, e.g. for analysis
- n. The splitting (of e.g. a matrix, an atom, or a compound) into constituent parts
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act or process of resolving the constituent parts of a compound body or substance into its elementary parts; separation into constituent part; analysis; the decay or dissolution consequent on the removal or alteration of some of the ingredients of a compound; disintegration.
- n. The state of being reduced into original elements.
- n. obsolete Repeated composition; a combination of compounds.
- n. (biology) the process of decay caused by bacterial or fungal action
- n. in a decomposed state
- n. the organic phenomenon of rotting
- n. (chemistry) separation of a substance into two or more substances that may differ from each other and from the original substance
- n. the analysis of a vector field
“_inseparable in such bodies as these_, namely, the passing of a current, and decomposition; and this is as true of the cells in the battery as of the water cell; for no voltaic battery has as yet been constructed in which the chemical action is only that of combination: _decomposition is always included_, and is, I believe, an essential chemical part.”
“_decomposition_ as a mere co-relative, _i. e._ as decomposition relatively to the body decomposed, but composition _actually_ and in respect of the substances, _into_ which it was decomposed.”
“Protein decomposition, which is apt to cause heavy financial losses, ceases almost altogether.”
“UPDATE, 10/13: To help readers chart the Happy Meal's non-decomposition from a bird's-eye view, here are Davies '27 photos (ordered chronologically from left to right) in' contact sheet 'form:”
“Even supposing that the common elements, too, may be suffering disintegration over a period of countless eons, this decomposition is so exceedingly slow that in all the ordinary concerns of humanity these common elements may be considered as permanent.”
“Yes, local CNN affiliate WKMG says the DNA results show it appears to be Caylee ` s hair in the car trunk, and that station also reporting the hair showed signs of decomposition, which is certainly ominous.”
“These changes are largely of a nature that the chemist knows as decomposition changes.”
“Such products are in general called decomposition products, or sometimes cleavage products.”
“The spoiling of eggs is due to decomposition, which is caused by molds or bacteria that result from accidental causes, and, in fertile eggs, to the germination and development of the chick, which is a natural process.”
“One photograph shows an exhumed corpse, far gone in decomposition.”
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