decay Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “decay” in the English Dictionary

"decay" in British English

See all translations

decayverb [I or T]

uk   /dɪˈkeɪ/  us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
B2 to (​cause something to) ​becomegraduallydamaged, ​worse, or less: Sugar makes ​yourteeth decay. The ​role of the ​extendedfamily 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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

decaynoun [U]

uk   /dɪˈkeɪ/  us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"decay" in American English

See all translations

decaynoun [U]

 us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
damage, or a ​state that ​becomesgraduallyworse: The ​dentist says I have a lot of ​tooth decay. There’s still too much ​crime, ​poverty, and decay in the ​neighborhood. Yourattitude just ​contributes to the ​growingsocial decay.
  • decay noun [U] (PROCESS)

physics /dɪˈkeɪ/ the ​process by which a ​radioactivesubstancebreaks down and ​sends out ​harmfulradiation
decay
verb [I/T]  us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
[I] City ​services are ​rapidlydecaying.
decaying
adjective [not gradable]  us   /dɪˈkeɪ·ɪŋ/
Empty ​lotsstand next to ​abandoned, decaying ​buildings.
(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of decay?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“decay” in British English

“decay” in American English

More meanings of “decay”

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

nutty

containing, tasting of, or similar to nuts

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More