Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To die.
  • n. The act of dying; death.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. death
  • n. Departure, especially departure from this life
  • v. To die.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Departure, especially departure from this life; death.
  • intransitive v. To depart from this life; to die; to pass away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To depart from life; die.
  • Synonyms Expire, etc. See die.
  • n. Departure from life; death.
  • n. Synonyms Death, Decease, Demise. Death is the common term for the ending of life. Decease is slightly euphemistic; it is less forcible and harsh than death. Demise applies primarily to a sovereign, who at death sends down or transmits his title, etc. (see quotation from Blackstone, under demise), and hence to others with reference to the transmission of their possessions. The use of demise for death apart from this idea is figurative, euphemistic, or stilted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
  • n. the event of dying or departure from life

Etymologies

Middle English decesen, from deces, death, from Old French, from Latin dēcessus, departure, death, from past participle of dēcēdere, to depart, die : dē-, de- + cēdere, to go; see ked- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French décès. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When he returned home, he laid the five leaves in a box and locking it, gave the key to his wife (who then showed big with child), and said to her, Know that my decease is at hand and that the time draweth nigh for my translation from this abode temporal to the home which is eternal.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “O my son, the fated hour of my decease is at hand, and I desire to give thee my last injunctions.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Every soul shall taste of death; 258 and now, O my son, my decease is at hand and I desire to charge thee with a charge, which if thou observe, thou shalt abide in safety and prosperity, till thou meet

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • 262 Many have remarked that the actual date of the decease is unknown.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • "straw death," as they called decease from old age or sickness.

    Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

  • Prince was seventeen years old, the King sickened of a sore sickness and came nigh to die, so, being certified that his decease was at hand, he said to the people of his household, “This is disease of Death which is upon me; wherefore do ye summon my son and kith and kin and gather together the Grandees and Notables of my empire, so not one of them may remain except he be present.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The information for the Crown hints that her decease might be the consequence of the usage she received.

    Rob Roy

  • Enjoy: "Although King Fahd was sick and hospitalized, the announcement of his decease was a shock to every Arab citizen, who knew and loved him like we did, and to every Saudi citizen who enjoyed the security, peace, and prosperity under his rule."

    Wednesday, August 31, 2005

  • The French and Italian translation do render this word decease too loosely.

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • His decease was a severe affliction to his family, a grief to his friends, and a subject of regret even to foreigners, and those who had no personal knowledge of him.

    The Germany and the Agricola of Tacitus

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