What does decay mean?

Definitions for decay

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word decay.

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"


  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

  7. Origin: [OF. decaeir, dechaer, decheoir, F. dchoir, to decline, fall, become less; L. de- + cadere to fall. See Chance.]


  1. Decay

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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Decay

    dē-kā′, v.i. to fall away from a state of health or excellence: to waste away.—v.t. to cause to waste away: to impair.—n. a falling into a worse or less perfect state: a passing away: loss of fortune: (obs.) misfortune.—p.adj. Decayed′, reduced in circumstances.—n. Decayed′ness. [O. Fr. decair—L. de, from cadĕre, to fall.]

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.

How to pronounce decay?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say decay in sign language?

  1. decay


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of decay in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of decay in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of decay in a Sentence

  1. Lenin:

    Fascism is capitalism in decay.

  2. Mikhail Khodorkovsky:

    The decay had entered its final stage.

  3. Alfred North Whitehead:

    Without adventure civilization is in full decay.

  4. Tacitus:

    All bodies are slow in growth but rapid in decay.

  5. Ambrose Bierce:

    Life. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.

Images & Illustrations of decay

  1. decaydecaydecaydecaydecay

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Translations for decay

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تضعضع, تحلل, اضمحلArabic
  • влошаване, гния, загнивам, разлагам се, развалям се, разлаганеBulgarian
  • rozklad, rozkládat se, hniloba, hnítCzech
  • henfaldDanish
  • Verwesung, verfallen, verfaulen, verrotten, verderben, verwesen, Verfall, faulen, abklingen, zerfallen, vermodernGerman
  • kadukiĝoEsperanto
  • deteriorar, pudrirSpanish
  • lahoaminen, rapautuminen, heikentyä, rapautua, maatua, mädäntyä, laho, heikkeneminen, rappeutua, heiketä, pilaantua, lahotaFinnish
  • décrépitude, pourrirFrench
  • meathlaigh, meath, meathlúIrish
  • crìonadh, mùthadhScottish Gaelic
  • התקלקלHebrew
  • क्षयHindi
  • szuvasodik, elmállik, romlás, elpusztul, tönkremegy, hanyatlás, pusztulás, korhad, rothadHungarian
  • փտել, փչանալArmenian
  • kerusakanIndonesian
  • dekadoIdo
  • imputridireItalian
  • 減衰Japanese
  • ლპობა, ხრწნა, გაფუჭებაGeorgian
  • 썩다Korean
  • interitusLatin
  • pūtLatvian
  • taimate, hanehaneMāori
  • nedbrytingNorwegian
  • in verval raken, verloederen, slecht worden, vervallen, verrottenDutch
  • forfallNorwegian
  • gnić, rozkładPolish
  • putrefação, decompor-se, apodrecer, estragar, deterioração, apodrecimento, decomposição, deteriorar, putrefazerPortuguese
  • гнить, разложение, гниение, упадок, портиться, ухудшаться, разлагаться, распад, спадRussian
  • sönderfall, sönderfalla, förfalla, ruttna, förfall, förruttnelse, mattas, försämras, sönderdelas, tackla avSwedish
  • ผุThai
  • çürümek, fenalaşmakTurkish
  • کشیUrdu
  • 衰變Chinese

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"decay." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Feb. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/decay>.

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