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English noun: decay

1. decay (process) the process of gradually becoming inferior

Broader (hypernym)action, activity, natural action, natural process

Narrower (hyponym)caries, cavity, corruption, decomposition, dental caries, dilapidation, putrefaction, rot, rotting, ruin, spoilage, spoiling, tooth decay

2. decay (process) a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current


Broader (hypernym)decrease, decrement

Narrower (hyponym)exponential decay, exponential return

3. decay (phenomenon) the organic phenomenon of rotting


Broader (hypernym)organic phenomenon

4. decay (state) an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying

SamplesThe corpse was in an advanced state of decay.
The house had fallen into a serious state of decay and disrepair.

Broader (hypernym)unsoundness

Narrower (hyponym)decomposition, deterioration, disintegration, impairment, putrefaction, rancidity, rot

5. decay (process) the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation

Synonymsdisintegration, radioactive decay

Broader (hypernym)nuclear reaction

Narrower (hyponym)alpha decay, beta decay

English verb: decay

1. decay (change) lose a stored charge, magnetic flux, or current

SamplesThe particles disintegrated during the nuclear fission process.

Synonymsdecompose, disintegrate

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change integrity

Verb groupdisintegrate

Domain categorynatural philosophy, physics

2. decay (change) fall into decay or ruin

SamplesThe unoccupied house started to decay.

Synonymscrumble, dilapidate

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)change

Narrower (hyponym)break, bust, corrode, deteriorate, droop, eat at, erode, fall apart, gnaw, gnaw at, ruin, rust, wear, wear away, wear out, weather, wilt

3. decay (change) undergo decay or decomposition

SamplesThe body started to decay and needed to be cremated.

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change

Narrower (hyponym)decompose, deliquesce, go bad, molder, moulder, putrefy, rot, spoil

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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