- When a dead body breaks down and eventually some of its parts disintegrate into the earth, this is an example of a time when the body decomposes.
- When you cause something to rot or break down, this is an example of a time when you decompose the item.
intransitive verb-·posed′, -·pos′ing
- to break up or separate into basic components or parts
- to rot
Origin of decomposeFrench décomposer: see de- and compose
verbde·com·posed, de·com·pos·ing, de·com·pos·es
- To separate into components or basic elements.
- To cause to rot.
- To become broken down into components; disintegrate.
- To decay; rot or putrefy. See Synonyms at decay.
(third-person singular simple present decomposes, present participle decomposing, simple past and past participle decomposed)
From Middle French décomposer