Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “decay”

decay

verb [I or T] uk   /dɪˈkeɪ/ us  
B2 to (cause something to) become gradually damaged, worse, or less: Sugar makes your teeth decay. The role of the extended family has been decaying for some time. Pollution has decayed the surface of the stonework on the front of the cathedral. the smell of decaying meat

decay

noun [U] uk   /dɪˈkeɪ/ us  
C2 the process of decaying: environmental/industrial/moral/urban decay dental/tooth decay The buildings had started to fall into decay. This industry has been in decay for some time.
(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of decay?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “decay”

Definitions of “decay” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More