|1.||to decline or cause to decline gradually in health, prosperity, excellence, etc; deteriorate; waste away|
|2.||to rot or cause to rot as a result of bacterial, fungal, or chemical action; decompose|
|3.||(intr) physics Also: disintegrate|
|a. (of an atomic nucleus) to undergo radioactive disintegration|
|b. (of an elementary particle) to transform into two or more different elementary particles|
|4.||(intr) physics (of a stored charge, magnetic flux, etc) to decrease gradually when the source of energy has been removed|
|5.||the process of decline, as in health, mentality, beauty, etc|
|6.||the state brought about by this process|
|7.||decomposition, as of vegetable matter|
|8.||rotten or decayed matter: the dentist drilled out the decay|
|a. See radioactive decay|
|b. a spontaneous transformation of an elementary particle into two or more different particles|
|c. of an excited atom or molecule, losing energy by the spontaneous emission of photons|
|10.||physics See also time constant a gradual decrease of a stored charge, magnetic flux, current, etc, when the source of energy has been removed|
|11.||music the fading away of a note|
|[C15: from Old Northern French decaïr, from Late Latin dēcadere, literally: to fall away, from Latin cadere to fall]|
decay de·cay (dĭ-kā')
The destruction or decomposition of organic matter as a result of bacterial or fungal action; rot.
The loss of information that was registered by the senses and processed into the short-term memory system.
To break down into component parts; rot.
To disintegrate or diminish by radioactive decay.
To decline in health or vigor; waste away.
decay [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (dĭ-kā') Pronunciation Key |
Verb To undergo decay.
decayn.,vi [from nuclear physics] An automatic conversion which is applied to most array-valued expressions in C; they `decay into' pointer-valued expressions pointing to the array's first element. This term is borderline techspeak, but is not used in the official standard for the language.