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Decompose   /dˌikəmpˈoʊz/   Listen
Decompose

verb
(past & past part. decomposed; pres. part. decomposing)
1.
Separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts.  Synonyms: break down, break up.
2.
Lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current.  Synonyms: decay, disintegrate.
3.
Break down.  Synonyms: molder, moulder, rot.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Decompose" Quotes from Famous Books



... glorious natural indication of the nature of the sunlight is seen in the rainbow. Here the sunbeams are refracted and reflected from tiny globes of water in the clouds; these convey to us the sunlight, and in doing so decompose the white beams into the seven primary hues—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, ...
— The Story of the Heavens • Robert Stawell Ball

... vapors that descend in rain, to turn mills, or which causes winds to blow by the unequal rarefaction of the atmosphere. It is from the sun too that the power comes which is liberated in a steam engine. The solar rays enable plants to decompose carbonic acid gas, the product of combustion, and the vegetation thus rendered possible is the source of coal and other combustible bodies. The combustion of coal under a steam boiler therefore merely liberates the power which the ...
— A Catechism of the Steam Engine • John Bourne

... boiling point of naphthalene (218 deg. ) tertiary alcohols are decomposed, while heating to the boiling point of anthracene (360 deg. ) suffices to decompose secondary alcohols, the primary remaining unaffected. These changes can be followed out by determinations of the vapour density, and so provide a method for characterizing alcohols (see Compt. Rend. 1904, 138, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... thousands deep. They are all "pipes" which are formed by volcanic eruption. These pipes are the real source of the diamonds. The precious blue ground which contains the stones is spread out on immense "floors" to decompose under sun and rain. Afterwards it is broken in crushers and goes through a series of mechanical transformations. The diamonds are separated from the concentrates on a pulsating table covered with vaseline. The gems cling to the oleaginous substance. ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... chloride does not weaken wood under static loading, although the indications are that the wood becomes brittle under impact. If the solution is too strong it will decompose ...
— The Mechanical Properties of Wood • Samuel J. Record

... us with the information that we were in the execution grounds. He pointed out spots still damp with the blood of criminals, several jars containing the heads of victims, the protruding hair matted with the lime used to decompose the flesh more rapidly, and a rude cross still remaining upon which a woman had recently been crucified and cut to pieces while alive. Her crime was the gravest known to Chinese law: she had murdered her husband. Poor ...
— Round the World • Andrew Carnegie

... Plant.—When the plant has developed its roots and leaves, and exhausted the store of materials laid up for it in the seed, it begins to derive its subsistence from the surrounding air, and to absorb carbonic acid, water, ammonia, and nitric acid, and to decompose and convert them into the different constituents of its tissues. These changes take place slowly at first, and more rapidly as the organs fitted for the elaboration of its food are developed. The roots and the leaves are equally active in performing this duty, the ...
— Elements of Agricultural Chemistry • Thomas Anderson

... which we all know at once discolors the juice, when lime is used in excess. Afterwards heat is applied, either in clarifiers or in the grand copper, but most of the impurities found in the juice will decompose, and burn at a degree of heat far below the boiling point, say at 120 deg. of Fahrenheit. This is shown by the thick scales continually forming in the grande. From that degree of heat the decomposition goes on in the clarifier ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... cells are not only the cause but also the product of sugar fermentation, so disease germs are not only a cause (secondary) but also a product of morbid fermentation in the system. Furthermore, just as yeast germs live on and decompose sugar, so disease germs live on and decompose morbid matter and ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... soaked up readily, and any surplus drained off freely. A soil answering all these requirements is made as follows: cut from an old ditch or fence-side, thick sods, and stack them with the grass sides together to rot. This heap should be forked over several times, when it has begun to decompose. In dry weather, if within reach of the hose, a good soaking occasionally will help the process along. The sods should be cut during spring or summer. To this pile of sod, when well rotted (or at time of using), add ...
— Gardening Indoors and Under Glass • F. F. Rockwell

... corpse, which was covered with the mantle, had thawed. It may be from the heat of the burning candles, it had begun to decompose with extraordinary rapidity, and the face of the young count looked indeed terrible. The enormously swollen, and livid mouth looked something monstrous, the blue and swollen curled lips had the appearance of ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... cheese is chiefly famous for its pungently offensive odor. It is made from skimmed milk, and allowed to partially decompose before pressing. It is very little known in this country, and might be less so with ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... decomposition of water is not the only thing that we shall describe pertaining to this subject. We go a step further, and find that we can decompose metals as well as liquids, and that we can make a pure metal out of an impure one, as well as make the foulest water pure. But we shall also, in the course of our experiments, find that a cheap metal can be coated with a costly one ...
— Electricity for Boys • J. S. Zerbe

... this kind will run a small motor, operate a telegraph sounder, make a simple electro-magnet, or ring an electric bell; two cells will decompose water: three will heat a piece ...
— Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study • Ontario Ministry of Education

... must always be fresh, although different forms of the drug are used. It tends quickly to decompose—forming a toxic by-product—and, according to some authorities, this decomposed scopolamin is responsible for many undesirable results which have attended some cases of "twilight sleep." Various forms of morphin are also used, as also ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... Certainly not that to which the surgeon usually has recourse—a liquid one. Certainly not one that speedily deliquesces; for they are both unmanageable, and, what is a more important consideration, they may hold in solution, and not decompose the poison, and thus inoculate the whole of the wound. The application which promises to be successful, is that of the 'lunar caustic'. It is perfectly manageable, and, being sharpened to a point, may be applied with certainty to every recess and ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... a reformed young Blue Beard. Fatima and her sister may go—have gone. I have just overhauled my 'Blue Chamber,' taken down all my suspended wives, and burned them. They ended in smoke. Lord! there wasn't flesh and blood enough in them all to decompose, and they gave out no odor even while burning. I burned them all, cleaned off all the blood-spots, ventilated the room, opened the windows, and will turn it to a workshop. No more sighing for the ...
— Bart Ridgeley - A Story of Northern Ohio • A. G. Riddle

... Teeth, bone and wood don't last long in their original state. However, buried materials decompose, leaving a film of carbon as a fossil. This results in a leaf tracery, or the outlines of some simple animal. On a gigantic scale, this process of forming carbon has resulted in our ...
— Let's collect rocks & shells • Shell Oil Company

... is but a semi-organized substance, of deficient vitality, it is very prone to disintegration and suppuration. Being foreign to the tissues in which it is embedded, like a thorn in the flesh, it excites a passive form of inflammation, and from lack of inherent vital energy it is apt to decompose and cause the formation of pus. Hence, infiltration of the muscles, glands, or other soft parts with tuberculous matter, when inflammation is aroused by its presence, and by an exciting cause, give rise to abscesses, ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... be it remembered, is not subject to decay; a saint does not decompose in the flesh like mortal sinners. One of these, I have been told, dead fifty years ago and now canonised, can be seen yet in one of the monasteries of North Lebanon, keeping well his flesh and bones together—divinely embalmed. It has been truly said that the work of a good man ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... the depths of the heavens were sounded to the utmost extent; the apparent diameter of a great number of stars was accurately measured; and Mr. Clark, of the Cambridge staff, resolved the Crab nebula in Taurus, which the reflector of Lord Rosse had never been able to decompose. ...
— Jules Verne's Classic Books • Jules Verne

... however, cannot be carried out by the ordinary consumer for himself. A generator which is perfectly satisfactory in general behaviour, and which evolves a sufficient proportion of the possible total make of gas to be economical, does not of necessity decompose the carbide quantitatively; nor is it constructed in a fashion to render an exact measurement of the gas liberated at standard temperature and pressure easy to obtain. For obvious reasons the careful consumer of acetylene will keep a record of the carbide decomposed and of the acetylene generated—the ...
— Acetylene, The Principles Of Its Generation And Use • F. H. Leeds and W. J. Atkinson Butterfield

... means of metals without any difficulty; but for this purpose the intervention of an acid is required. Thus, if we add some sulphuric acid (a substance with the nature of which you are not yet acquainted) to the water which the metal is to decompose, the acid disposes the metal to combine with the oxygen of the water so readily and abundantly, that no heat is required to hasten the process. Of this I am going to shew you an instance. I put into this bottle the water that is to be decomposed, as also the metal that is to effect that decomposition ...
— Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 • Jane Marcet

... a white mass, which readily absorbs moisture and dissolves. It will not volatilize at a low red heat, nor will it decompose. Exposed to a strong heat, it is decomposed, yielding oxygen, and passing into ...
— A System of Instruction in the Practical Use of the Blowpipe • Anonymous

... which might almost make us suppose that Shakespeare knew something of the details of the pearl fisheries, when the oysters are piled up on shore and allowed to decompose, so as to render it easier to get at the pearls, for he makes one of his characters say, speaking of an honest man in a poor dwelling, that he was like a "pearl in your foul oyster". (As You Like It, Act v, ...
— Shakespeare and Precious Stones • George Frederick Kunz

... itself in any household, the very first thing is to see to the continuous freshening of the air in the sick-room and in all the house. Ventilation is, indeed, the first and most important method of disinfection. Chloride of lime and other disinfecting fluids will decompose the offensive and noxious odours, but pure air will sweep the organisms of disease themselves away. Fresh air kills the microbes of certain diseases, e.g., consumption, and is hostile to all disease. The stools ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... originate from primordial germs—the first elementary principles of life—whenever inorganic conditions favor, and, assimilating air, water, and other inorganic materials, convert them into organic substances, or such as answer to the conditions of organic life. In doing this, they take up and decompose carbonic acid, retain the carbon, and give off oxygen—a vital process not known to occur in the case of animal life. That their primordial germs, or vital units, are in the earth, as the Bible Genesis declares, is conclusively shown by the experimental processes first ...
— Life: Its True Genesis • R. W. Wright

... is chiefly objectionable because of the amount of inert material. The shavings are exceedingly slow to decompose, and in light soil in considerable quantities would cause a serious loss of moisture. If applied, on the other hand, to a heavy soil and accompanied by sufficient irrigation water, the effect of making the soil more friable might be very desirable. It depends then upon ...
— One Thousand Questions in California Agriculture Answered • E.J. Wickson

... of the stage by the very pieces which Shakspeare altered, remodelled, and finally made his own. Elated with success and piqued by the growing interest of the problem, they have left no bookstall unsearched, no chest in a garret unopened, no file of old yellow accounts to decompose in damp and worms, so keen was the hope to discover whether the boy Shakspeare poached or not, whether he held horses at the theatre door, whether he kept school, and why he left in his will only his second-best bed to Anne ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... excels other artificial light-sources in hastening the chlorination of natural gas in the production of chloroform. One advantage of the radiation from this light-source is that it does not extend far into the ultra-violet, for the ultra-violet rays of short wave-lengths decompose some compounds. In other words, it is necessary to choose radiation which is effective but which does not have rays associated with it that destroy the desired products of the reaction. By the use of a shunt across the arc the light can be gradually varied over a considerable ...
— Artificial Light - Its Influence upon Civilization • M. Luckiesh

... look ... Here's more for you!" said the watchman; and one after the other, opening the lids, exhibited the decedents—all, probably, the poorest of the poor: picked up on the streets, intoxicated, crushed, maimed and mutilated, beginning to decompose. Certain ones had already begun to show on their hands and faces bluish-green spots, resembling mould—signs of putrefaction. One man, without a nose, with an upper hare-lip cloven in two, had worms, like little ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... replaced by its equivalent in metal. The substances which we at present term anhydrous acids (acid oxides) only become, for the most part, capable of forming salts with metallic oxides after the addition of water, or they are compounds which decompose these oxides ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... positions of leaves, etc." In confirmation of this, we have Sach's experiments in 1872, which show that light, transmitted through the yellow solution of potassium chromate, enables green leaves to decompose over 88 per cent. of carbonic acid; while that passed through blue ammonia copper oxide decomposes less than 8 per cent. This proves the superiority of the yellow ray to decompose carbonic acid; and this ...
— Scientific American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 • Various

... acids to the teeth cannot be too strongly deprecated: they decompose their substance, and lead to their rapid decay. Hence the whiteness produced by acid tooth-powders and washes is not less deceitful than ruinous in its consequences. As has been just observed, they perform all that their vendors promise, causing the teeth, for a little while, to ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... he has established as a new principle of science that electricity possesses the qualities of weight, compressibility and gravitation; that he has proved water to be in reality a simple elemental substance, which he can decompose or transform into either hydrogen or oxygen gas according to its electrical condition, and according as positive or negative electricity is applied to it; and that he has invented the means whereby from water he can produce at will either of these gases without any other than mechanical agency and ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, August 1850 - of Literature, Science and Art. • Various

... Truesdale, "we don't look at a painting with our noses, but with our eyes. I decompose what is before me into the primary colors. Now the thing for you to do is to step back ten or twelve feet and recompose them. That armchair over there is just about your point of view precisely—and so inviting and ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... called the "soft-ware" and the "hard-ware," are very important. The former includes all vegetable and animal matters—every thing that will decompose. These are selected and bagged at once, and carried off as soon as possible, to be sold as manure for ploughed land, wheat, barley, &c. Under this head, also, the dead cats are comprised. They are, generally, the perquisites of the women searchers. Dealers come ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... (when gold was yet unknown, By which its nomenclature came to pass; Thus most appropriately has been shown 'Lucus a non lucendo,' not what was, But what was not; a sort of style that 's grown Extremely common in this age, whose metal The devil may decompose, but ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... Oxonians or young barristers, even when they become slashing London critics, are more harmless than they themselves imagine, and after all inspire less awe than Ben-Nevis, or than the celebrated agriculturist who proposed to decompose that mountain with acids, and to scatter the debris as a fertiliser over the Lochaber moss. But a Highlander born, who has been nurtured on oatmeal porridge and oatmeal cakes; who in his youth wore home-spun cloth, and was innocent of ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1875 • Various

... decompose the coarse unity of the question presented by Van Dale and his Vandals, as though the one sole "issue," that could be sent down for trial before a jury, were the likelihoods of fraud and gross swindling. It is not with the deceptions or collusions of the Oracles, as mere matters ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... dispersion must be Death, if it is possible to conceive such a thing as Death, where the very molecules of the dead body manifest an intense vital energy.... Says Eliphas Levi: "Change attests movement, and movement only reveals life. The corpse would not decompose if it were dead; all the molecules which compose it are living and struggle ...
— Death—and After? • Annie Besant



Words linked to "Decompose" :   digest, separate, decomposition, change integrity, hang, natural philosophy, chemical science, chemistry, physics, crack, biodegrade, dissociate



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