Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old North French
Origin: decaïr, from Late Latin decadere 'to fall, sink'


1 verb
Related topics: Biology, Chemistry
1 [intransitive and transitive] to be slowly destroyed by a natural chemical process, or to make something do this [↪ rot]:
Her body was already starting to decay.
Most archaeological finds are broken, damaged, or decayed.
decaying organic matter
2 [intransitive] if buildings, structures, or areas decay, their condition gradually becomes worse:
Hundreds of historic buildings are being allowed to decay.
Britain's decaying inner cities
3 [intransitive] if traditional beliefs, standards etc decay, people do not believe in them or support them any more [= decline]:
In Orthodox Europe, mass religion seems to have decayed less.

Dictionary results for "decay"
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