De*cay", n. 1. Gradual failure of health, strength, soundness, prosperity, or of any species of excellence or perfection; tendency toward dissolution or extinction; corruption; rottenness; decline; deterioration; as, the decay of the body; the decay of virtue; the decay of the Roman empire; a castle in decay.
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,Herbert.
May turn, and take me by the hand, and more --
May strengthen my decays.
His [Johnson's] failure was not to be ascribed to intellectual decay.Macaulay.
Which has caused the decay of the consonants to follow somewhat different laws.James Byrne.
2. Destruction; death.
3. Cause of decay.
He that plots to be the only figure among ciphers, is the decay of the whole age.Bacon.
Syn. -- Decline; consumption. See Decline.
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