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An organism, especially a fungus or bacterium, that derives its nourishment from dead or decaying organic matter. Also called saprobe.

sap′ro·phyt′ic (-fĭt′ĭk) adj.
sap′ro·phyt′i·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.saprophytic - obtaining food osmotically from dissolved organic material
2.saprophytic - (of some plants or fungi) feeding on dead or decaying organic matter
plant life, flora, plant - (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
Fungi, fungus kingdom, kingdom Fungi - the taxonomic kingdom including yeast, molds, smuts, mushrooms, and toadstools; distinct from the green plants
herbivorous - feeding only on plants
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