decay Definition 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

Definition of “decay” - English Dictionary

"decay" in American English

See all translations

decaynoun [U]

us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
damage, or a state that becomes gradually worse: The dentist says I have a lot of tooth decay. There’s still too much crime, poverty, and decay in the neighborhood. Your attitude just contributes to the growing social decay.
  • decay noun [U] (PROCESS)

physics /dɪˈkeɪ/ the process by which a radioactive substance breaks down and sends out harmful radiation
decay
verb [I/T] us   /dɪˈkeɪ/
decaying
adjective [not gradable] us   /dɪˈkeɪ·ɪŋ/
Empty lots stand next to abandoned, decaying buildings.
(Definition of decay from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"decay" in British English

See all translations

decayverb [I or T]

uk   /dɪˈkeɪ/ 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

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 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”

Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
by ,
May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

Read More 

Word of the Day

ray

a narrow beam of light, heat, etc. travelling in a straight line from its place of origin

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More