from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of saprophytes; growing on decaying vegetable matter. See Perisporiaceæ.
  • In zoology, engendered or growing in putrid infusions, as one of numberless infusorial animalcules; saprogenous: opposed to holophytic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Feeding or growing upon decaying animal or vegetable matter; pertaining to a saprophyte or the saprophytes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Relating to saprophytes or their life style.

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

  • adjective obtaining food osmotically from dissolved organic material
  • adjective (of some plants or fungi) feeding on dead or decaying organic matter


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "He ... led me from the wood, leaving the dead man behind, clothed in the saprophytic hues of war and sacrifice."

    —Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 867

    See also corpse-candle.

    January 3, 2010