verb (used with object), de·com·posed, de·com·pos·ing.
- to separate or resolve into constituent parts or elements; disintegrate: The bacteria decomposed the milk into its solid and liquid elements.
verb (used without object), de·com·posed, de·com·pos·ing.
- to rot; putrefy: The egg began to decompose after a day in the sun.
- to break down (organic matter) or (of organic matter) to be broken down physically and chemically by bacterial or fungal action; rot
- chem to break down or cause to break down into simpler chemical compounds
- to break up or separate into constituent parts
- (tr) maths to express in terms of a number of independent simpler components, as a set as a canonical union of disjoint subsets, or a vector into orthogonal components