Definitions of decay

  1. fall into decay or ruin; " The unoccupied house started to decay"
  2. lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current; as of particles in nuclear fission
  3. the organic phenomenon of rotting
  4. a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
  5. the process of gradually becoming inferior
  6. the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
  7. an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying; " the corpse was in an advanced state of decay"; " the house had fallen into a serious state of decay and disrepair"
  8. lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current; " the particles disintegrated during the nuclear fission process"
  9. undergo decay or decomposition; " The body started to decay and needed to be cremated"
  10. Destruction; death.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 decay of virtue; the decay of the Roman empire; a castle in decay.
  13. Cause of decay.
  14. Decayed.
  15. To rot; decline or fail.
  16. Decline; gradual failure in mind or body; ruin; rottenness; corruption.
  17. Decaying.
  18. 1. The destruction of an organic substance by slow combustion, or gradual oxidation. 2. Putrefaction. 3. To deteriorate, to undergo slow combustion or putrefaction.
  19. To fall away from a state of health or excellence: to waste away.
  20. A falling into a worse or less perfect state: a passing away.
  21. Decline; waste; decomposition.
  22. To waste away; become decomposed.
  23. To affect or be affected by decay; impair; deteriorate; decline.
  24. A gradual decline; decomposition; corruption; rottenness.
  25. Gradual failure or decline towards dissolution or extinction.
  26. To decline, waste, or wither away.
  27. To become less perfect; to fail; to decline; to waste away.
  28. A gradual failure; decline of fortune; corruption.

Usage examples for decay

  1. Yet when land is most abundant, when most productive, and most fertile, it yields no rent; and it is only when its powers decay, and less is yielded in return for labour, that a share of the original produce of the more fertile portions is set apart for rent. – On The Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation by David Ricardo
  2. The lyric, Disdain Returned, of the courtier, Thomas Carew, shows both a customary type of subject and the serious application often given:- " He that loves a rosy cheek, Or a coral lip admires, Or from starlike eyes doth seek Fuel to maintain his fires, As old time makes these decay, So his flames must waste away." – Halleck's New English Literature by Reuben P. Halleck
  3. Or deem'st that if thou shouldst abide My passion might decay? – The Poems of William Watson by William Watson
  4. I think the decay has gone too far for that. – The Free Press by Hilaire Belloc
  5. It would be well if those who lament the decay of " faith" would remember what things were done in New England in the name of faith less than two hundred years ago. – Brief History of English and American Literature by Henry A. Beers
  6. If these pieces of earth proper, before decay, are loadstones, then one may pass to the next induction that the earth itself is a loadstone. – The Natural Philosophy of William Gilbert and His Predecessors by W. James King
  7. Before Luther's time the study of the Catechism had everywhere fallen into decay. – Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church by Friedrich Bente
  8. Mahogany is not liable to warp, nor subject to decay; and it is exceedingly durable, and is for these reasons the most desirable of all woods employed in pattern- making, providing that first cost is not a primary consideration. – Modern Machine-Shop Practice, Volumes I and II by Joshua Rose
  9. In these days, when we complain of the decay of letter- writing, they afford a remarkably good specimen of youthful effort in that kind of literature. – Early Letters of George Wm. Curtis by G. W. Curtis, ed. George Willis Cooke
  10. We had a very pleasant ride thither, down a beautiful valley, through which the river Wenning runs; had on our right hand a line view of Hornby Castle, now in part gone to decay. – Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel by John Yeardley
  11. Furthermore, he added that the body had been buried at once, and by that means preserved from decay. – A Queen's Error by Henry Curties
  12. The widow's cottage gave signs of decay, though it was evident that such attempts as required no expense had been made to keep it in repair. – The History of Little Peter, the Ship Boy by W.H.G. Kingston
  13. Great Lord, how rotten it was: that slow decay, that getting old, that dragging on of the days and years! – The Twilight of the Souls by Louis Couperus
  14. At the time of the accession of Akbar there was at Agra simply a citadel built of brick, ugly in form and ruinous from decay. – Rulers of India: Akbar by George Bruce Malleson
  15. A disease of the lungs, attended with fever and cough, and causing a decay of the bodily powers. – A Practical Physiology by Albert F. Blaisdell
  16. Expenditure of force leads to outward decay, Spiritual existence means inward fulness. – China and the Chinese by Herbert Allen Giles
  17. It was not one blast that uprooted weak members of the forest, but the eating decay of the previous years, working at the heart of many lives. – Together by Robert Herrick (1868-1938)
  18. 151 have been proposed in order to represent with more detail the process of stellar growth and decay; but for the most part these subdivisions and their interpretation are accepted by astronomers with much reserve. – A Text-Book of Astronomy by George C. Comstock
  19. The entire interior is in a condition of decay, a fit setting for the use to which it is put. – Commercialized Prostitution in New York City by George Jackson Kneeland