Definition of decompose verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    decompose

     verb
    verb
    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//
     
     
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  1. 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. 2[transitive, intransitive] decompose (something) (into something) (specialist) to divide something into smaller parts; to divide into smaller parts
  3. Word Origin mid 18th cent. (in the sense ‘separate into simpler constituents’): from French décomposer, from de- (expressing reversal) + composer.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: decompose