Meaning of “decompose” in the English Dictionary

"decompose" in British English

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decomposeverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˌdiː.kəmˈpəʊz/ us /ˌdiː.kəmˈpoʊz/

to decay, or to cause something to decay:

The body must have been decomposing for several weeks.

specialized chemistry to break, or to break something, into smaller parts:

Microbes decompose organic waste into a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide.
noun [ U ] uk /ˌdiː.kɒm.pəˈzɪʃ.ən/ us /ˌdiː.kɑːm.pəˈzɪʃ.ən/

The corpse was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

(Definition of “decompose” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"decompose" in American English

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decomposeverb [ I/T ]

us /ˌdi·kəmˈpoʊz/

to destroy something by breaking it into smaller parts:

[ I ] Certain kinds of plastic decompose quickly.

biology If dead plant or animal material decomposes, it decays.

chemistry If a substance decomposes it separates into its parts.

noun [ U ] /ˌdiˌkɑm·pəˈzɪʃ·ən/

(Definition of “decompose” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)