AskDefine | Define maceration

Dictionary Definition



1 softening due to soaking or steeping
2 extreme leanness (usually caused by starvation or disease) [syn: bonyness, emaciation, gauntness]

User Contributed Dictionary




maceration (plural: macerations)
  1. The act or process of macerating
    • The Armored Dinosaurs edited by Kenneth Carpenter 2001
      ... proposed that the small size of the teeth ... implied that most of the maceration of the food occurred after swallowing.


Extensive Definition

Maceration is a word that derives from the Latin maceratus ("to soften"; past participle of macerare). It may refer to:
  • Maceration, in chemistry and herbalism, the preparation of an extract by soaking material (such as animal skins or parts of fibrous plants) in water, vegetable oil or some organic solvent. The word may also refer to the same process when used to produce perfume stock.
  • Maceration (wine), in viticulture, the steeping of grape skins and solids in must, where alcohol later acts as a solvent to extract colour, tannin and aroma from the skins during the wine fermentation process.
  • A macerator, in sewage treatment, a machine that reduces solids to small pieces in order to deal with rags and other solid waste.
  • Maceration (bone), a method of separating of bone from soft body tissue by controlled putrefaction.
  • A macerator, in chicken farming, a high-speed grinder used to slaughter unwanted male chicks in large numbers.
  • Maceration, in biology, is the mechanical grinding or kneading of semi-solid food in the stomach into chyme.
  • Maceration, in dermatology, is the softening and whitening of skin kept constantly wet, leaving it more vulnerable to infection or damage by tearing.
maceration in Dutch: Maceratie
maceration in Polish: Maceracja
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