decay - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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decay

verb [I or T] uk   us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
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
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decay

noun [U] uk   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.
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(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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