Instead, as the body began to decompose, she spread baking soda on the floorboards to mask the smell.
He wants to take the fingers, let them decompose, then take the bones and make a finger bone necklace out of it.
1750s, "to separate into components," from de- "opposite of" + compose. Sense of "putrefy" is first recorded 1777. Related: Decomposed; decomposing.