decay: Meaning and Definition of
Pronunciation: (di-kā'), [key]
- to become decomposed; rot: vegetation that was decaying.
- to decline in excellence, prosperity, health, etc.; deteriorate.
- (of a radioactive nucleus) to change spontaneously into one or more different nuclei in a process in which atomic particles, as alpha particles, are emitted from the nucleus, electrons are captured or lost, or fission takes place.
- to cause to decay or decompose; rot: The dampness of the climate decayed the books.
- decomposition; rot: Decay made the wood unsuitable for use.
- a gradual falling into an inferior condition; progressive decline: the decay of international relations; the decay of the Aztec civilizations.
- decline in or loss of strength, health, intellect, etc.: His mental decay is distressing.
- Also calleda radioactive process in which a nucleus undergoes spontaneous transformation into one or more different nuclei and simultaneously emits radiation, loses electrons, or undergoes fission.
- the progressive, accelerating reduction in orbital parameters, particularly apogee and perigee, of a spacecraft due to atmospheric drag.
- decay (Thesaurus)