• WordNet 3.6
    • v decay fall into decay or ruin "The unoccupied house started to decay"
    • v decay lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current "the particles disintegrated during the nuclear fission process"
    • v decay undergo decay or decomposition "The body started to decay and needed to be cremated"
    • n decay the organic phenomenon of rotting
    • n decay a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
    • n decay the process of gradually becoming inferior
    • n decay the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
    • n decay an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying "the corpse was in an advanced state of decay","the house had fallen into a serious state of decay and disrepair"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Kissing can aid in reducing tooth decay. This is because the extra saliva helps in keeping the mouth clean
    • Decay Cause of decay. "He that plots to be the only figure among ciphers, is the decay of the whole age."
    • Decay Destruction; death. "The cup of deception spiced and tempered to their bane ."
    • Decay 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 decay of virtue; the decay of the Roman empire; a castle in decay. "Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
      May turn, and take me by the hand, and more
      May strengthen my decays ."
      "His [Johnson's] failure was not to be ascribed to intellectual decay .""Which has caused the decay of the consonants to follow somewhat different laws."
    • Decay To cause to decay; to impair. "Infirmity, that decays the wise."
    • Decay To destroy.
    • v. i Decay 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; as, a tree decays; fortunes decay; hopes decay. "Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
      Where wealth accumulates and men decay ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Milk and cheese can aid in the reduction of tooth decay
    • decay 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.
    • decay Synonyms Putrefy, Corrupt, etc. See rot.
    • decay To cause to become unsound or impaired; cause to deteriorate; impair; bring to a worse state.
    • n decay 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 decay Specifically Decomposition; putrefaction; rot.
    • n decay Death; dissolution.
    • n decay A disease; especially, consumption.
    • n decay A cause of decay.
    • n decay Loss of fortune or property; misfortune; ruin : applied to persons.
    • n decay plural Ruins.
    • n decay Synonyms Decline, decadence, deterioration, degeneracy, withering.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Chocolate not only does not promote tooth decay, it might prevent it. According to the American Dental Association, milk chocolate contains ingredients, such as calcium and phosphate, that might modify acid production in the mouth that leads to cavities. Some oils in chocolate might also prevent tooth decay. Chocolate does contain sugar, of course, but these are simple sugars that are less harmful than the complex sugars contained in other foods.
    • v.i Decay dē-kā′ to fall away from a state of health or excellence: to waste away
    • v.t Decay to cause to waste away: to impair
    • n Decay a falling into a worse or less perfect state: a passing away: loss of fortune:
    • n Decay (obs.) misfortune
    • ***


  • John Dryden
    “All human things are subject to decay, and when fate summons, monarchs must obey.”
  • Lord Byron
    “Thy decay's still impregnate with divinity.”
  • Henry Miller
    “I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth.”
  • John Dryden
    “All things are subject to decay and when fate summons, monarchs must obey.”
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.”
  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    “All bodies are slow in growth but rapid in decay.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. decaeir, dechaer, decheoir, F. déchoir, to decline, fall, become less; L. de-, + cadere, to fall. See Chance


In literature:

Green vegetables should have a fresh, unwilted appearance; any sign of staleness or decay should cause their rejection.
"The Home Medical Library, Volume V (of VI)" by Various
But when their taste decays they do not know that it has decayed.
"Progress and History" by Various
Meanwhile the roofs of the villas and churches fell in, the walls decayed, the gardens were overgrown.
"The History of London" by Walter Besant
The climate is such that even the stones decay, and worms destroy the wood.
"Scenes in the Hawaiian Islands and California" by Mary Evarts Anderson
Of the time of the first Edward, there were signs of decay in tower and still more ancient keep.
"In Doublet and Hose" by Lucy Foster Madison
All else is weakness, and death, and decay.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
Although Encke's comet has made thirty-five complete rounds of its orbit since its first detection in 1786, it shows no certain signs of decay.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
While they are decaying like a corpse, it is flourishing like the chestnut-tree of its own mountains.
"Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber" by James Aitken Wylie
Sociologists following Aristotle have agreed with him that human nature develops within and decays outside of social relations.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
Found on well-decayed logs or on ground made up largely of decayed wood.
"The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise" by M. E. Hard
We know that vegetable and animal substances decay when exposed to the air; and decay is a slow burning.
"Harper's Young People, September 14, 1880" by Various
When they do not decay, and their limbs remain as supple and pliable as when they were alive, then they burn them.
"The Phantom World" by Augustin Calmet
When the nodosity begins to decay and becomes of a cancerous nature, it is called a tuberosity.
"Manual of American Grape-Growing" by U. P. Hedrick
Although broken and decayed in many of its parts, it is sufficiently alive to bear foliage.
"Aztec Land" by Maturin M. Ballou
The decay and ruin were caused by the great siege in the days of Aurangzib.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
At Kendal, in Westmorelandshire, are the ruins of Kendal Castle, a relic of the Norman days, but long since gone to decay.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook
The reason things would not decay is that decay usually is a slow kind of oxidation (burning).
"Common Science" by Carleton W. Washburne
Wherever it appears, it is a religion of decay.
"History of Religion" by Allan Menzies
Hydrogen, combined with carbon, occurs in solid rocks where the remains of plants and animals have slowly decayed.
"Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know" by Julia Ellen Rogers
First he ordered repairs made upon the temple, which had fallen into decay and ruin.
"The Bible Story" by Rev. Newton Marshall Hall

In poetry:

Him and his to know decay,
Where undimmed the lights that wane
Would remain,
If it could be always May.
"Ballade Of Truisms" by William Ernest Henley
They knew but joy; they knew
No pang of Love decay'd:
When this old world was new,
Love was a shepherd too.
""When This Old World Was New"" by Henry Austin Dobson
The objects that we fondly prize,
How soon they pass away,
And we are left to realize,
The emblems of decay.
"On The Death of a Child" by James McCauley
And thick and fast as autumn-leaves
My children drop away:
A gathering of unripened sheaves
By Premature Decay.
"Earth's Burdens" by Ernest Jones
Sweet Sabbath of the year!
While evening lights decay,
Thy parting steps methinks I hear
Steal from the world away.
"To the Autumn" by James Montgomery
No paling of the cheek of bloom
Forewarned us of decay;
No shadow from the Silent Land
Fell round our sister's way.
"Gone" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

First listen to Neurosis's Honor Found in Decay .
"Detropia": Late in "Detropia," Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's dreamy documentary about a slowly crumbling Detroit, a Swiss tourist confesses an appreciation for the aesthetics of decay .
The findings show that all plant matter decays faster as temperatures increase, according to the study in the Sept 7 issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
The Vigor in the Decay .
Decay Is Eating Our History.
Sometimes that is all that's necessary to get the point across and that's the case with Pathology's new video for "Tyrannical Decay ".
16 Trillion Dollars Of Moral, Cultural And Political Decay .
Columns/Blogs Finishing Two successful ways to fight off decay .
The Libor Scandal and Capitalism's Moral Decay .
Pressure Decay Leak Test Calculator.
A Small Town Struggles Amid Crime And Decay .
Your Guide to a Tour of Decay .
Workhouse Arts Center's 'Urban Decay 3.
Track decay easy to fix for 2013 Detroit Grand Prix.
Murray and the Decay of American Virtue: Inequality III.

In science:

The reason is as follows: In a suppressed process of a given decay operator, B tends to decay first into unsuppressed decay channels and then rescatters into its final state by FSI.
Final-state interaction and s-quark helicity conservation in B -> J/psi K*
Find Decay Products 3() finds any further decay beyond two-body decays.
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
In the case a virtual particle is found, i.e. the sum of the masses of all decay products is larger than the mass of the incoming particle, a further decay of unstable decay products is realized with Next Decay().
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
As for results valid for all q (≥ 1), the best that is currently known is that the connectivity function decays exponentially for sufficiently small p (this follows by Theorem 3.2 and the corresponding q = 1 result), and that it decays exponential ly whenever it decays at a sufficient polynomial rate.
The Random-Cluster Model
Within the “standard” decaying particle model (mx = 200 MeV, τ15 = 4)), the solid line is the recombination rate in the decaying particle model, the dotted is the ionization rate due to the decaying particles and the straight line is the expansion rate H (z ).
Decaying particles and the reionization history of the Universe
Since particle decay is a quantum process, it is described by the superposition of a wave function in which the particle has decayed and one in which it has not decayed.
From Knowledge, Knowability and the Search for Objective Randomness to a New Vision of Complexity
They therefore decay into quarks and leptons as in vacuum, but then their decay products hadronize and decay, loosing energies as discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Spectra of neutrinos from dark matter annihilations
This will give rise to an extra factor of N = NχN 2 decay in front of the dissipative coefficient, where Nχ is the multiplicity of the X superfield, and Ndecay counts the no. of decay channels available in X ’s decays.
Warm inflation dynamics in the low temperature regime
By definition, the median decay time td,m splits the decay time histogram up into two parts of equal size, i.e., the probability to observe a decay time td with td < td,m is equal to the probability to observe one with td > td,m .
Activity patterns on random scale-free networks: Global dynamics arising from local majority rules
This deviation could originate in part from the difference between the mean cavity decay time τc of all modes and the mean cavity decay time of the lasing modes: Our experiment suggests that random lasing preferentially takes place in modes with a much longer than average cavity decay time.
Relaxation oscillations in long-pulsed random lasers
Here R(t) = Pη Rη (t) is the total decay rate and R = R(0) is the total initial decay rate; ∆Nη (ti ) is the number of the decay products η registered by the η -detector during the time interval ∆ti around ti .
Time Asymmetry in Quantum Physics - I. Theoretical Conclusion from Resonance and Decay-Phenomenology
We call it an eigenfunction decay inequality (EDI), since it translates decay of finite volume resolvents into decay of generalized eigenfunctions ; we present it as proved in [KlK1, Lemma 3.9] and [GK3, Theorem A.1].
Multiscale Analysis and Localization of Random Operators
In case of decay, when h has only one eigenvector to the eigenvalue zero, each mixed state will decay and approach the pure decay product.
Analysis of quantum semigroups with GKS-Lindblad generators I. Simple generators
We adopt a selected data set, including the measured lifetimes of two-neutrino double beta decay, electron capture, and single beta decay for two nuclei, 100Mo and 116Cd, which are of interest for searching 0ν 2β decay.
Overconstrained estimates of neutrinoless double beta decay within the QRPA
This decay is superimposed by a (fast) linear-in-time decay due to (un)corrected spontaneous decay.
Stabilization of quantum information by combined dynamical decoupling and detected-jump error correction