Decay meaning

dĭ-kā
To decay is defined as to rot, lose strength or deteriorate.

An example of decay is when old fruit begins to rot.

An example of decay is when a neighborhood starts to become crime-ridden.

verb
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(biology) To break down into component parts; rot.
verb
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Decay is defined as rotted matter or the state of rotting, deteriorating or declining.

An example of decay is what has happened to an old abandoned building.

noun
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(electronics) To decrease gradually in magnitude. Used of voltage or current.
verb
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(physics) To disintegrate in a process of radioactive decay or particle decay.
verb
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To lose strength, soundness, health, beauty, prosperity, etc. gradually; waste away; deteriorate.
verb
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A gradual decline; deterioration.
noun
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To fall into ruin.

A civilization that had begun to decay.

verb
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To rot or decompose.
verb
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A wasting away.
noun
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To cause to decay.
verb
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To cause to decay.
verb
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(aerospace) To decrease in orbit. Used of an artificial satellite.
verb
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To undergo decay.
verb
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To decline in health or vigor; waste away.
verb
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(biology) To break down into component parts; rot.
verb
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The spontaneous transformation of a relatively unstable particle into a set of new particles. For example, a pion decays spontaneously into a muon and an antineutrino. The decay of heavy or unstable atomic nuclei (such as uranium or carbon-10) into more stable nuclei and emitted particles is called radioactive decay . The study of particle decay is fundamental to subatomic physics.
noun
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The process or result of being gradually decomposed.
noun
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1
(intransitive, of organic material) To rot, to go bad.

The cat's body decayed rapidly.

verb
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To undergo radioactive disintegration spontaneously.
verb
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The gradual reduction of strength of a signal or charge.
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noun
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(intransitive, physics, chemistry, of an unstable atom) To change by undergoing fission, by emitting radiation, or by capturing or losing one or more electrons.
verb
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(intransitive, physics, of a quantum system) To undergo optical decay, that is, to relax to a less excited state, usually by emitting a photon or phonon.
verb
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(aviation)
verb
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The extreme humidity decayed the wooden sculptures in the museum's collection in a matter of years.

verb
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(aerospace) The decrease in orbital altitude of an artificial satellite as a result of conditions such as atmospheric drag.
noun
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A falling into ruin.
noun
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1
(physics) To disintegrate in a process of radioactive decay or particle decay.
verb
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1
(electronics) To decrease gradually in magnitude. Used of voltage or current.
verb
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1
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(intransitive) To deteriorate, to get worse, to lose strength or health, to decline in quality.
  • (intransitive, electronics, of storage media or the data on them) To undergo bit rot, that is, gradual degradation.
  • (intransitive, physics, of a satellite's orbit) To undergo prolonged reduction in altitude (above the orbitted body).
    2009, Francis Lyall, Paul B. Larsen, Space Law: A Treatise, page 120:.

The pair loved to take pictures in the decaying hospital on forty-third street.

verb
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To decline from a state of normality, excellence, or prosperity; deteriorate.
verb
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A gradual deterioration to an inferior state.

Tooth decay; urban decay.

noun
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A rotting or decomposing, as of vegetable matter.
noun
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The breaking down or rotting of organic matter through the action of bacteria, fungi, or other organisms; decomposition.
noun
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Origin of decay

  • Middle English decayen from Old French decair from Vulgar Latin dēcadere Latin dē- de- Latin cadere to fall kad- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French decair (“to fall away, decay, decline”), from Medieval Latin *decadere, restored form of Latin decidere (“to fall away, fail, sink, perish”), from de (“down”) + cadere (“to fall”); compare decadent and decadence.

    From Wiktionary