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Definition of “decay” - English Dictionary

"decay" in American English

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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)







"decay" in British English

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decayverb [I or T]

uk   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

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decaynoun [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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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