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Attested since circa 1730, from Latin pūtrēscēns (rotting), present participle of pūtrēscō (rot).


putrescent (comparative more putrescent, superlative most putrescent)

  1. becoming putrid; putrefying
    • 1791, George Fordyce, A treatise on the digestion of food, page 68:
      When it is combined with that quantity of water with which it is found united in the gall-bladder, it is not more putrescent than the serum of the blood
    • 1885, Henry Stopes, Malt and malting, an historical, scientific, and practical treatise, page 48:
      This same reason accounts to a considerable extent for the fact, that soft steeping liquor, if seldom changed, becomes much more putrescent than hard water retained with the same barleys for a similar period in cistern.
    • 2009, Mordecai Cubitt Cooke, Introduction to the Study of Fungi, Their Organography,, page 132:
      although in some instances these spores are elliptical and smooth, they are often coarsely warted and angular. The group in itself seems to be a very natural one, for the species are all soft and fleshy, and even more putrescent than




  1. third-person plural future active indicative of pūtrēscō