- 1[intransitive, transitive] to be destroyed gradually by natural chemical processes synonym decay, rot a decomposing corpse As the waste materials decompose, they produce methane gas. The garden was dank with decomposing vegetation. decompose something a decomposed body
- 2[transitive, intransitive] decompose (something) (into something) (specialist) to divide something into smaller parts; to divide into smaller parts Word Origin mid 18th cent. (in the sense ‘separate into simpler constituents’): from French décomposer, from de- (expressing reversal) + composer.
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊz//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊz//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they decompose
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊz//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊz//he / she / it decomposes
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzɪz//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊzɪz//past simple decomposed
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊzd//past participle decomposed
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊzd//-ing form decomposing
BrE BrE//ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˌdiːkəmˈpoʊzɪŋ//