Decay De*cay", v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Decayed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Decaying}.] [OF. decaeir, dechaer, decheoir, F. d['e]choir, to decline, fall, become less; L. de- + cadere to fall. See {Chance}.] To pass gradually from a sound, prosperous, or perfect state, to one of imperfection, adversity, or dissolution; to waste away; to decline; to fail; to become weak, corrupt, or disintegrated; to rot; to perish; as, a tree decays; fortunes decay; hopes decay. [1913 Webster]

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates and men decay. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decay — De*cay , n. 1. Gradual failure of health, strength, soundness, prosperity, or of any species of excellence or perfection; tendency toward dissolution or extinction; corruption; rottenness; decline; deterioration; as, the decay of the body; the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decay — vb Decay, decompose, rot, putrefy, spoil, disintegrate, crumble mean to undergo or, in some cases, to cause something to undergo destructive dissolution. Decay implies change, commonly a natural and gradual change, from a state of soundness or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • decay — [dē kā′, dikā′] vi. [ME decaien < Anglo Fr & OFr decäir < VL * decadere: see DECADENCE] 1. to lose strength, soundness, health, beauty, prosperity, etc. gradually; waste away; deteriorate 2. to rot or decompose 3. to undergo radioactive… …   English World dictionary

  • Decay — De*cay , v. t. 1. To cause to decay; to impair. [R.] [1913 Webster] Infirmity, that decays the wise. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To destroy. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decay — [n] breaking down, collapse adulteration, atrophy, blight, caries, consumption, corrosion, crumbling, decadence, decline, decomposition, decrease, decrepitude, degeneracy, degeneration, depreciation, deterioration, dilapidation, disintegration,… …   New thesaurus

  • decay — I verb addle, atrophy, be reduced in worth, become enfeebled, become lower in quality, become putrescent, blight, break down, break up, canker, consume, corrode, corrupt, crumble, decline, decompose, decompound, degenerate, depreciate,… …   Law dictionary

  • decay — ► VERB 1) rot through the action of bacteria and fungi. 2) decline in quality or vigour. 3) Physics (of a radioactive substance, particle, etc.) undergo change to a different form by emitting radiation. ► NOUN 1) the state or process of decaying …   English terms dictionary

  • Decay — Contents 1 Science and technlogy 1.1 Biology 1.2 Physics 1.3 …   Wikipedia

  • decay — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ rapid ▪ slow ▪ dental (esp. BrE), tooth ▪ industrial (esp. BrE), urban …   Collocations dictionary

  • decay — 01. The [decaying] leaves in the garden are actually good for it and make the soil richer. 02. Tooth [decay] is preventable with proper oral hygiene. 03. The dentist said my tooth is so [decayed] that he may have to pull it. 04. The rise in… …   Grammatical examples in English

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