decay Definition

  • 1the process or result of being gradually decomposed
  • 2a gradual decline in strength, quality, or importance

Using decay: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "decay" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The decay of the old building was evident.

  • Example

    The decay of the city's infrastructure has been a major concern for years.

  • Example

    The decay of his health was rapid and alarming.

  • Example

    The decay of their relationship was due to lack of communication.

decay Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using decay

  • in a condition of decline or deterioration


    The abandoned house was in a state of decay.

  • gradually change into a worse or less desirable state


    The conversation decayed into an argument.

  • gradually disappear or be destroyed


    The old photographs were decaying away in the attic.

Phrases with decay

  • damage to a tooth caused by dental plaque turning sugars into acid


    Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay.

  • a decline in moral values or standards within a society or individual


    The rise of crime is a sign of moral decay in our society.

  • the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude


    The city's urban decay was due to a lack of investment in infrastructure.

Origins of decay

from Old French 'decair', meaning 'to fall down'


Summary: decay in Brief

The term 'decay' [dɪˈkeɪ] refers to the gradual decomposition of something, as well as a decline in strength, quality, or importance. It can refer to physical objects like buildings or teeth, as well as abstract concepts like moral values or relationships. Examples include 'The decay of the old building was evident.' and 'The decay of his health was rapid and alarming.' Idioms like 'in a state of decay' and 'decay into something' describe the gradual worsening of a situation.

How do native speakers use this expression?