atrophy degeneration as the result of disuse, malnutrition, etc. biodegradability disposition to disintegrate as the result of natural processes. — biodegradable, adj. caducity the condition of being perishable. —caducous, adj. cariosity the condition of being decayed or carious, especially with regard to teeth. catabolism the destructive process of metabolism in which living matter is turned into waste. —catabolic, adj. cataclasm a breaking down; disruption. —cataclasmic, n. catalysis Rare. the process of decay or deterioration. See also change. cataplasia degeneration of cells or tissues. —cataplastic, adj. cataplasis the stage of decline in organic development. cytolysis the degeneration of cells. —cytolytic, adj. degradability the state or quality of being susceptible to breakdown or decomposition. —degradable, adj. deteriorism the belief that the universe is gradually breaking down. See also meliorism. fugacity the condition of being fugacious or transitory; evanescence. —fugacious, adj. geratology the branch of biology that studies aging and its phenomena. Also gereology. —geratologic, geratologous, adj. histolysis the disintegration or dissolution of organic tissues. —histolytic, adj. labefaction the process of coming apart, especially falling into ruin or decay. lysis the decomposition of cells by antibodies called lysins. myoatrophy atrophy or wasting away of the muscles. necrosis the death or decay of body tissue, the result of loss of blood supply or trauma. —necrotic, adj. pejoration depreciation, loss, or diminution in value, quality, etc. photolysis the breakdown of matter or materials under the influence of light. —photolytic, adj. putrescence 1. the state or process of rotting or putrefying. 2. rotting or putrefying matter. —putrescent, adj. symptosis a gradual wasting away of the body or of any organ or part of the body. syntexis the wasting of the body, as in consumption. —syntectic, syntectical, adj. tabescence 1. the process of emaciation or wasting of the body. 2. the condition of being wasted or in decay, especially as a gradual process. —tabescent, adj. tabitude the state of being affected by tabes, i.e., gradual wasting or decay.