Definition of


  1. (noun, process) the process of gradually becoming inferior
  2. (noun, process) a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
  3. (noun, phenomenon) the organic phenomenon of rotting
  4. (noun, state) an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying
    the house had fallen into a serious state of decay and disrepair
  5. (noun, process) the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
  6. (verb, change) lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current
  7. (verb, change) fall into decay or ruin
  8. (verb, change) undergo decay or decomposition

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Decay

  1. c.1460, from O.Fr. decair, from V.L. *decadere "to fall off," from L. cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). Meaning "gradual decrease in radioactivity" is from 1897. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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