Definitions for Decaydɪˈkeɪ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Decay

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to become decomposed; rot.

    Category: Microbiology

  2. to decline in health, prosperity, etc.; deteriorate.

  3. (of an atomic nucleus) to undergo radioactive disintegration.

    Category: Physics

  4. (v.t.)to cause to decompose; rot.

    Category: Microbiology

  5. (n.)decomposition; rot.

    Category: Microbiology

  6. a gradual and progressive decline.

  7. the spontaneous radioactive transformation of a nucleus or particle into one or more different nuclei or particles.

    Category: Physics

  8. progressive change in the path of an earth-orbiting satellite due to atmospheric drag.

    Category: Aerospace

* Syn: decay , decompose , disintegrate , rot imply a deterioration or falling away from a sound condition. decay implies either entire or partial deterioration by progressive natural changes: Teeth decay.decompose suggests the reducing of a substance to its component elements: Moisture makes some chemical compounds decompose.disintegrate emphasizes the breaking up, going to pieces, or wearing away of anything, so that its original wholeness is impaired: Rocks disintegrate.rot is applied esp. to decaying vegetable matter, which may or may not emit offensive odors: Potatoes rot.

Origin of decay:

1425–75; < ONF decair=de-de - +cair to fall 蠐 L cadere


Princeton's WordNet

  1. decay(noun)

    the process of gradually becoming inferior

  2. decay, decline(noun)

    a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current

  3. decay, decomposition(noun)

    the organic phenomenon of rotting

  4. decay(noun)

    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"

  5. decay, radioactive decay, disintegration(verb)

    the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation

  6. disintegrate, decay, decompose(verb)

    lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current

    "the particles disintegrated during the nuclear fission process"

  7. decay, crumble, dilapidate(verb)

    fall into decay or ruin

    "The unoccupied house started to decay"

  8. decay(verb)

    undergo decay or decomposition

    "The body started to decay and needed to be cremated"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. decay(verb)ɪˈkeɪ

    to break down or cause to break down by natural processes; = rot

    as the body decays; Sugar decays your teeth.

  2. decayɪˈkeɪ

    to become gradually worse

    neighborhoods decaying as the years pass; to watch standards decay.


  1. decay(Noun)

    The process or result of being gradually decomposed.

  2. decay(Noun)

    A deterioration of condition.

  3. decay(Verb)

    To deteriorate, to get worse, to lose strength or health, to decline in quality.

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

  4. decay(Verb)

    To rot, to go bad.

    The cat's body decayed rapidly.

  5. decay(Verb)

    To change by undergoing fission, by emitting radiation, or by capturing or losing one or more electrons.

  6. decay(Verb)

    To undergo optical decay, that is, to relax to a less excited state, usually by emitting a photon or phonon.

  7. decay(Verb)

    To cause to rot or deteriorate.

    The extreme humidity decayed the wooden sculptures in the museum's collection in a matter of years.

  8. Origin: From decair, from *, restored form of decidere, from de + cadere; compare decadent and decadence.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Decay(verb)

    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

  2. Decay(verb)

    to cause to decay; to impair

  3. Decay(verb)

    to destroy

  4. Decay(noun)

    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

  5. Decay(noun)

    destruction; death

  6. Decay(noun)

    cause of decay


  1. Decay

    Decay is a fictional character owned by DC Comics. She appears as a villain in the Wonder Woman comic book series.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. decay

    [from nuclear physics] An automatic conversion which is applied to most array-valued expressions in C; they ‘decay into’ pointer-valued expressions pointing to the array's first element. This term is borderline techspeak, but is not used in the official standard for the language.

Translations for Decay

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the act or process of decaying

tooth decay; in a state of decay.

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