American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Decomposition of organic matter, especially protein, by microorganisms, resulting in production of foul-smelling matter.
- n. Putrefied matter.
- n. The condition of being putrefied.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act or process of putrefying; the decomposition of animal and vegetable substances, attended by the evolution of fetid gases. Putrefaction is at present believed to be a result of the activity of organisms of the simplest form — the Schizomycetes. It can therefore take place only when the conditions are favorable for the life and growth of these organisms. A temperature of from 60° to 80° F., a moderate degree of humidity, and limited access of air are the conditions most favorable to putrefaction. Extremes of heat and cold, salt, sugar, vinegar, carbolic acid, corrosive sublimate, and other antiseptics prevent putrefaction by destroying or rendering inactive the organisms which induce it. The chemical changes in a putrefying body are most complex. From proteid bodies are formed leucin, tyrosin, a considerable number of alkaloids, the ptomaïnes, compound ammonias, hydrogen sulphid, and many other solid and gaseous products. See
fermentation, and germ theory (under germ).
- n. Putrefied matter.
- n. the act of causing to rot; the anaerobic splitting of proteins by bacteria and fungi with the formation of malodorous, incompletely oxidized products
- n. rotted material
- n. the state of being rotted
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act or the process of putrefying; the offensive decay of albuminous or other matter.
- n. The condition of being putrefied; also, that which putrefied.
- n. moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles
- n. a state of decay usually accompanied by an offensive odor
- n. (biology) the process of decay caused by bacterial or fungal action
- Coined between 1350 and 1400 from Middle English putrefaccioun, from Latin putrefactiō, from putrefactus, perfect passive participle of putrefaciō ("become rotten") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English putrefaccioun, from Late Latin putrefactiō, putrefactiōn-, from putrefactus, past participle of Latin putrefacere, to make rotten; see putrefy. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He was looking at it as though it were an animal, days dead and far gone in putrefaction, that had been malevolently dumped on a pristine altar consecrated to solemn rituals and tended to by votaries of an elite cult.”
“He (that is, man) as a rotten thing, the principle of whose putrefaction is in itself, consumes, even like a moth-eaten garment, which becomes continually worse and worse.”
“Man is not pure for he is a worm, hatched in putrefaction, and therefore odious to God.”
“He writes: "Nature never multiplies anything, except in either one or the other of these two ways: either by decay, which we call putrefaction, or, in the case of animate creatures, by propagation.”
“Destruction supervenes when the determined gets the better of the determining by the help of the environment (though in a special sense the word putrefaction is applied to partial destruction, when”
“A slight quantity of air, however, is sufficient for putrefaction, which is a powerful deoxydizing process that extracts oxygen even from the roots of plants.”
“Reply Obj. 2: Christ's body was a subject of corruption according to the condition of its passible nature, but not as to the deserving cause of putrefaction, which is sin: but the Divine power preserved”
“If the fermentation is of vegetables or fruit, the toxins are irritating, stimulating and enervating, but not so dangerous or destructive to organic life as putrefaction, which is a fermentation set up in nitrogenous matter -- protein-bearing foods, but particularly animal foods.”
“We have already said that we believe that they are nothing but the ordinary vibrios of putrefaction, reduced to a state of extreme tenuity by the special conditions of nutrition involved in the fermentable medium used; in a word, we think that the fermentation in question might be called putrefaction of tartrate of lime.”
“He proved, also, by an exhaustive series of experiments, that what is called putrefaction of animal matter is the result of the combined work of the _ærobics_ and the _anærobics_, which reduce that part not taken up by oxygen to dead organic matter, ready in its turn to form food for living things.”
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