If you suspect that something in your yard is in a state of putrefaction, there's probably something stinky and rotten out there.

The relatives of this word in English all resemble it and fit neatly into one meaning category, "rotten." The mother of them all is putrid, from Latin putris, "rotten." This leads to putrefy, which means "make rotten," and finally putrefaction, the process of rotting or a state of being rotten. The ending is -faction rather than -fication on the pattern of many nouns that have Latin facere in their pasts: benefaction, malefaction, and liquefaction — to name a few.

Definitions of putrefaction
  1. noun
    (biology) the process of decay caused by bacterial or fungal action
    synonyms: decomposition, rot, rotting
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    type of:
    the process of gradually becoming inferior
  2. noun
    a state of decay usually accompanied by an offensive odor
    synonyms: rot
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    corruption, putrescence, putridness, rottenness
    a state of progressive putrefaction
    type of:
    an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying
  3. noun
    moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles
    “Rome had fallen into moral putrefaction
    synonyms: corruption, degeneracy, depravation, depravity
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    type of:
    the quality of not being in accord with standards of right or good conduct
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