decay

I
(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
n. decomposition, deterioration, disintegration, dilapidation, putrefaction, rot, caries. — v. i. rot, putrefy, mortify; disintegrate. See oldness, uncleanness.
II
(Roget's IV) n.
1. [A progressive worsening]
Syn. decline, decomposition, collapse, degeneracy, downfall, decadence, depreciation, decrease, consumption, corruption, spoilage, spoiling, rotting, retrogradation, wasting away, retrogression, degeneration, gradual crumbling, disrepair, loss of health, loss of strength, weakening, senescence, deterioration, breakdown, failure, ruination, extinction, progressive decline, dilapidation, dissolution, disintegration, decrepitude, ruin, crumbling, waste, breakup, corrosion, impairment, discoloration, reduction, wear and tear, falling off, failing, pejority; see also sense 2 .
Ant. improvement*, increase, preservation.
2. [Decomposition]
Syn. disintegration, putrefaction, corruption, adulteration, rot, rottenness, breakup, spoilage, carrion, putrescence, putridity, decrepitude, mold, rust, corrosion, oxidation, dry rot, black rot, caries, spur, atrophy, emaciation, blight, marasmus, gangrene, mildew, biodegredation, deliquescence, ravages of time*, way of all flesh*; see also sense 1 .
Ant. growth*, germination, freshness.
v.
Syn. spoil, blight, go to seed, fade, be impaired, rot, wither, molder, crumble, disintegrate, break down, turn, break up, curdle, discolor, mold, mildew, dry-rot, rust, corrupt, corrode, putrefy, putresce, decompose, biodegrade, deliquesce, degenerate, become tainted, become contaminated, collapse, shrivel, atrophy, pejorate, suppurate, decline, depreciate, deteriorate, worsen, sink, go bad, fall off, fall apart, fall into decay, fall away, fall to pieces, slump, fade away, wear away, erode, eat away, get worse, lessen, fail, sicken, weaken, waste away, go from bad to worse, touch bottom, slow down, thin out, go to rack and ruin, fall on evil days, go to the dogs*, hit the skids*, go to pot*, die on the vine*, reach a New low*, reach the depths*, hit rock bottom*; see also die 1 , 2 , 3 .
Ant. clean*, refresh, purify.
Syn.- decay implies gradual, often natural, deterioration from a normal or sound condition [ his teeth have begun to decay] ; rot refers to the decay of organic, esp. vegetable, matter, caused by bacteria, fungi, etc. [rotting apples ] ; putrefy suggests the offensive, foul-smelling rotting of animal matter [ bodies putrefying in the fields ] ; spoil is the common informal word for the decay of foods [ fish spoils quickly in summer ] ; molder suggest a slow, progressive, crumbling decay [ old buildings molder away ] ; disintegrate implies the breaking up of something into parts or fragments so that the wholeness of the original is destroyed [ the sunken ship gradually disintegrated] ; decompose suggests the breaking up or separation of something into its component elements [ a decomposing chemical compound ] : it is also a somewhat euphemistic substitute for rot and putrefy
III
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus)
I
n.
rot, spoilage, decomposition, decline, disintegration, putrefaction, deterioration, degeneration, decrepitude.
ANT.: growth, vigor
II
v.
decline, deteriorate, degenerate, atrophy, waste away, wane, rot, decompose, putrefy, wither, disintegrate.
ANT.: grow, thrive
IV
(Roget's Thesaurus II) I verb To become or cause to become rotten or unsound: break down, decompose, deteriorate, disintegrate, molder, putrefy, rot, spoil, taint, turn. Idioms: go bad, go to pot, go to seed. See BETTER, THRIVE. II noun The condition of being decayed: breakdown, decomposition, deterioration, disintegration, putrefaction, putrescence, putridness, rot, rottenness, spoilage. See BETTER, THRIVE.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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  • Decay — De*cay , n. 1. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decay — vb Decay, decompose, rot, putrefy, spoil, disintegrate, crumble mean to undergo or, in some cases, to cause something to undergo destructive dissolution. Decay implies change, commonly a natural and gradual change, from a state of soundness or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • decay — [dē kā′, dikā′] vi. [ME decaien < Anglo Fr & OFr decäir < VL * decadere: see DECADENCE] 1. to lose strength, soundness, health, beauty, prosperity, etc. gradually; waste away; deteriorate 2. to rot or decompose 3. to undergo radioactive… …   English World dictionary

  • Decay — De*cay , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Decayed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Decaying}.] [OF. decaeir, dechaer, decheoir, F. d[ e]choir, to decline, fall, become less; L. de + cadere to fall. See {Chance}.] To pass gradually from a sound, prosperous, or perfect… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Decay — De*cay , v. t. 1. To cause to decay; to impair. [R.] [1913 Webster] Infirmity, that decays the wise. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To destroy. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decay — [n] breaking down, collapse adulteration, atrophy, blight, caries, consumption, corrosion, crumbling, decadence, decline, decomposition, decrease, decrepitude, degeneracy, degeneration, depreciation, deterioration, dilapidation, disintegration,… …   New thesaurus

  • decay — I verb addle, atrophy, be reduced in worth, become enfeebled, become lower in quality, become putrescent, blight, break down, break up, canker, consume, corrode, corrupt, crumble, decline, decompose, decompound, degenerate, depreciate,… …   Law dictionary

  • decay — ► VERB 1) rot through the action of bacteria and fungi. 2) decline in quality or vigour. 3) Physics (of a radioactive substance, particle, etc.) undergo change to a different form by emitting radiation. ► NOUN 1) the state or process of decaying …   English terms dictionary

  • Decay — Contents 1 Science and technlogy 1.1 Biology 1.2 Physics 1.3 …   Wikipedia

  • decay — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ rapid ▪ slow ▪ dental (esp. BrE), tooth ▪ industrial (esp. BrE), urban …   Collocations dictionary

  • decay — 01. The [decaying] leaves in the garden are actually good for it and make the soil richer. 02. Tooth [decay] is preventable with proper oral hygiene. 03. The dentist said my tooth is so [decayed] that he may have to pull it. 04. The rise in… …   Grammatical examples in English

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