Definition of putrefy in US English:



[no object]
  • (of a body or other organic matter) decay or rot and produce a fetid smell.

    • ‘Ganges water does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage.’
    • ‘He believes that one important cause is ‘postnasal drip’ from the nose that accumulates and putrefies on the very back of the tongue.’
    • ‘The putrefying smell carried through the broken compressed-air pipe to the trapped miners and, eventually, to the rescue workers.’
    • ‘And the minute that the magnificent, multifaceted Crenshaw arrives to putrefy all around him, the scene is set for classic comedy.’
    • ‘This protracted process resulted in a backlog of bodies that were often putrefying by the time they were cremated.’
    • ‘If there is too much protein in our body it putrefies due to the long process of digestion required.’
    • ‘His blood congealed, his heart putrefied and he knew he had to react sharply.’
    • ‘The bodies were left as a warning, to putrefy dangling in public.’
    • ‘Anything organic is going to putrefy or ferment very, very rapidly.’
    • ‘Raw meat putrefies because it is an ideal food for micro-organisms.’
    • ‘If these sugars cannot be broken down, they will sit in the large intestine and putrefy, leading to a bloated feeling and gas.’
    • ‘Tilden postulated that improper diet led to stagnation of food in the colon, which then putrefied and formed toxins.’
    • ‘However, during the hot Polish summers, the bodies started to putrefy.’
    • ‘When an extremity has been invaded by bacteria and the blood supply is choked off, the limb begins to putrefy.’
    • ‘It radiated a smell of freshness in putrefying ether.’
    • ‘The body starts to putrefy within a minute or two of death, and bubbles of gas come up through the mouth.’
    • ‘The taste was so putrefying that I felt as if I were about to double over.’
    • ‘As it putrefies and decays, your breath smells bad, your sweat smells bad, and your bowels smell bad.’
    • ‘‘It means that liquid has sat in your ears long enough to putrefy,’ I explained.’
    • ‘It had that taste of something vile that had been slowly putrefying in the hot weather.’
    decay, rot, decompose, go bad, go off, perish, spoil, deteriorate, fester, moulder
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Late Middle English: via French from Latin putrefacere, from puter, putr- ‘rotten’.