from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. Biology To break down into component parts; rot.
- intransitive v. Physics To disintegrate or diminish by radioactive decay.
- intransitive v. Electronics To decrease gradually in magnitude. Used of voltage or current.
- intransitive v. Aerospace To decrease in orbit. Used of an artificial satellite.
- intransitive v. To fall into ruin: a civilization that had begun to decay.
- intransitive v. Pathology To decline in health or vigor; waste away.
- intransitive v. To decline from a state of normality, excellence, or prosperity; deteriorate.
- transitive v. To cause to decay.
- n. The destruction or decomposition of organic matter as a result of bacterial or fungal action; rot.
- n. Rotted matter.
- n. Physics Radioactive decay.
- n. Aerospace The decrease in orbital altitude of an artificial satellite as a result of conditions such as atmospheric drag.
- n. A gradual deterioration to an inferior state: tooth decay; urban decay.
- n. A falling into ruin.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The process or result of being gradually decomposed.
- n. A deterioration of condition.
- v. To deteriorate, to get worse, to lose strength or health, to decline in quality.
- v. To rot, to go bad.
- v. To change by undergoing fission, by emitting radiation, or by capturing or losing one or more electrons.
- v. To undergo optical decay, that is, to relax to a less excited state, usually by emitting a photon or phonon.
- v. To cause to rot or deteriorate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Gradual failure of health, strength, soundness, prosperity, or of any species of excellence or perfection; tendency toward dissolution or extinction; corruption; rottenness; decline; deterioration
- n. Destruction; death.
- n. Cause of decay.
- intransitive v. 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
- transitive v. To cause to decay; to impair.
- transitive v. To destroy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To pass gradually from a sound or perfect state to a less perfect state, or toward weakness or dissolution; fall into an inferior condition or state; specifically, become decomposed or corrupted; rot.
- Synonyms Putrefy, Corrupt, etc. See rot.
- To cause to become unsound or impaired; cause to deteriorate; impair; bring to a worse state.
- n. Gradual loss of soundness or perfection; a falling by degrees into an impaired condition or state; impairment in general; loss of strength, health, intellect, etc.
- n. Specifically Decomposition; putrefaction; rot.
- n. 3. Death; dissolution.
- n. . A disease; especially, consumption.
- n. . A cause of decay.
- n. Loss of fortune or property; misfortune; ruin : applied to persons.
- n. . plural Ruins.
- n. Synonyms Decline, decadence, deterioration, degeneracy, withering.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the process of gradually becoming inferior
- n. a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
- n. the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
- v. undergo decay or decomposition
- v. lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current
- v. fall into decay or ruin
- n. the organic phenomenon of rotting
- n. an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying
Now, what we call decay is really the growth of these fungi.
_Caput mundi; _ but a kind of idiot head at that: inchoate, without co-ordination; maggots scampering through what might have been the brain; the life fled, and that great rebellion of the many lives which we call decay having taken its place.
Once the sands of an inland sea, about 20 such deposits lie in North America, filled with methane produced by the decay from the bugs, plants and animals that ended up in the ancient ooze.
"Limbo" as orbital decay is a fairly recent construction
Ever wonder why our schools are in decay and our educational system is producing college level students that can't write a complete sentence or compete with Asian scholars?
As the host (some household name) opens the show, imagine that the white expert opining about the root causes of urban decay is a nationally recognized racist, like for instance, David Duke.
As far as tooth decay is concerned, this is not caused by lack of fluoride.
Tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth, typically created from sugar being metabolized by bacteria (Streptococcus mutans), and as you may already know, the number-one source of calories in the United States is high fructose corn syrup.
The house is in decay and then comes to life as a “hive” of activity during project mayhem.
He had this notion of Detroit as a great landscape of a place that was a pillar of assumptions about America and that is now in decay and then - you know, I went into a prison north of Detroit and started interviewing guys who were from Southwest Detroit or Eastside Detroit who came out of the gang culture or who have been involved in the drug trade.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.