Definition of decay verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    decay

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they decay
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪ//
     
    he / she / it decays
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪz//
     
    past simple decayed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪd//
     
    past participle decayed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪd//
     
    -ing form decaying
    BrE BrE//dɪˈkeɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈkeɪɪŋ//
     
    How a building looks
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] decay (something) to be destroyed gradually by natural processes; to destroy something in this way synonym rot decaying leaves/teeth/food See related entries: How a building looks
  2. 2  [intransitive] if a building or an area decays, its condition slowly becomes worse decaying inner city areas
  3. 3[intransitive] to become less powerful and lose influence over people, society, etc. decaying standards of morality
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French decair, based on Latin decidere ‘fall down or off’, from de- ‘from’ + cadere ‘fall’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: decay

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