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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: pyu'tre-fak'shun


Decomposition or rotting, the breakdown of organic matter usually by bacterial action, resulting in the formation of other substances of less complex constitution with the evolution of ammonia or its derivatives and hydrogen sulfide; characterized usually by the presence of toxic or malodorous products.

Synonym(s): decay2, decomposition

[L. putre-facio, pp. -factus, to make rotten]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.