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[pyoo-truh-fak-shuh n] /ˌpyu trəˈfæk ʃən/
the act or process of putrefying; the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter by bacteria and fungi that results in obnoxiously odorous products; rotting.
the state of being putrefied; decay.
Origin of putrefaction
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin putrefactiōn- (stem of putrefactiō) a rotting, equivalent to Latin putrefact(us) (past participle of putrefacere to putrefy) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
putrefactive, putrefacient
[pyoo-truh-fey-shuh nt] /ˌpyu trəˈfeɪ ʃənt/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for putrefaction
  • It hinders and prevents fermentation, the souring of milk and the putrefaction of milk.
  • Here were gore-spattered battles and scenes of putrefaction and disease.
  • Damaged cells, through putrefaction, take the pressure off healthy cells allowing cell division or healing.
  • Neutral buffered formalin is used to stabilize protein in fresh tissue, and prevent autolysis and putrefaction.
Word Origin and History for putrefaction

c.1400, from Old French putrefaction (14c.), from Latin putrefactionem (nominative putrefactio), noun of action from past participle stem of putrefacere "to make rotten," from putrere "to be rotten" (see putrid) + facere "to make, do" (see factitious).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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putrefaction in Medicine

putrefaction pu·tre·fac·tion (pyōō'trə-fāk'shən)

  1. Decomposition of organic matter, especially protein, by microorganisms, resulting in production of foul-smelling matter.

  2. Putrefied matter.

  3. The condition of being putrefied.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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