Meaning of DECAY in English

DECAY

INDEX:

1. to decay

2. something that has decayed

3. to make something decay

4. the process of decaying

RELATED WORDS

food that is not fresh : ↑ FRESH/NOT FRESH

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1. to decay

▷ decay /dɪˈkeɪ/ [intransitive verb]

if something decays, it is gradually destroyed by chemical changes - use this about dead plants or flesh, fruit or wood, or teeth :

▪ Freezing conditions will stop most things from decaying.

▪ Some of the apples lying on the ground had already begun to decay.

▪ In a warm climate where flesh decays rapidly, there is more risk of infection from dead animals.

▪ If you eat too many sweets, it’ll make your teeth decay.

decaying [adjective only before noun]

▪ the decaying remains of a dead sheep

▪ The stream was blocked by decaying vegetation.

▷ rot /rɒtǁrɑːt/ [intransitive verb]

to decay - use this especially about wood, vegetables, plants etc :

▪ If water gets inside the woodwork, it causes it to rot.

leave something to rot

▪ In some countries food is left to rot, while in others people are dying from hunger.

rot away

rot until it becomes extremely weak or gradually disappears

▪ The roof had fallen in and the floor had completely rotted away.

rotting [adjective]

▪ If you lift up a rotting log you will find all sorts of insects underneath.

▷ decompose /ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊz/ [intransitive verb]

to decay and gradually break up - use this about dead plants or flesh :

▪ As household refuse decomposes, it produces an explosive gas, methane.

▪ A dead fish in the aquarium will decompose rapidly, fouling the water badly.

decomposing [adjective only before noun]

▪ The men’s decomposing bodies were found in a shallow grave in Epping forest.

▷ go mouldy British /go moldy American /gəʊ ˈməʊldi/ [verb phrase]

if food goes mouldy, a soft green or black substance starts to grow on the surface, and it is not good to eat any more :

▪ Throw that bread away. It’s gone mouldy.

▪ If you don’t keep cheese in the fridge, it goes mouldy very quickly.

▷ rust /rʌst/ [intransitive verb]

if something made of iron rusts, it decays by becoming brown and rough, losing its strength, especially because it has not been protected from the damaging effects of water :

▪ Several of the pipes have rusted and will need to be replaced.

rust away

rust until something begins to break into pieces

▪ Parts of the floor of the car had simply rusted away.

rusting [adjective only before noun]

▪ The barn was full of rusting old farm machinery.

▷ corrode /kəˈrəʊd/ [intransitive verb]

if metal corrodes, it decays by becoming weak and changing its colour, especially because it has not been protected from the damaging effects of chemicals :

▪ By the time they found the wreckage of the plane, it had already started to corrode.

corroding [adjective only before noun]

▪ Corroding radiators are a problem because they may start to leak.

2. something that has decayed

▷ rotten /ˈrɒtnǁˈrɑːtn/ [adjective]

something that is rotten has decayed badly and often smells unpleasant - use this especially about wood, fruit, vegetables, plants etc :

▪ There was a disgusting smell in the house - a bit like rotten eggs.

▪ I wouldn’t climb that tree if I were you - some of the branches look rotten.

▪ a pile of rotten apples

▷ decayed /dɪˈkeɪd/ [adjective usually before noun]

decayed objects and materials are ones that are gradually being destroyed by natural chemical changes :

▪ Bees will often build their nests in decayed wood.

▪ Sixty years ago, the average 4 year old had 7 decayed or missing teeth.

▪ Even the stonework on the old house was decayed and crumbling.

▷ decomposed /ˌdiːkəmˈpəʊzd◂/ [adjective usually before noun]

decomposed flesh or plants are dead and are gradually being broken up and destroyed by natural chemical changes :

decomposed body/remains

▪ The girl’s decomposed body had been in the water for a long time.

badly/partially/half decomposed

▪ Coal is the partially decomposed remains of forests that covered the earth millions of years ago.

▪ Both men’s bodies were badly decomposed.

▷ mouldy British /moldy American /ˈməʊldi/ [adjective]

something that is mouldy has a soft green or black substance growing on its surface :

▪ All there was in the fridge was a piece of mouldy cheese and some tomatoes.

▪ The cupboards were damp and full of moldy old clothes.

go mouldy

▪ This pizza’s so old it’s gone mouldy!

▷ rusty /ˈrʌsti/ [adjective]

rusty metal has become rough and brown because it is decaying, especially because it has not been protected from the damaging effects of water and air :

▪ A rusty old car had been abandoned at the side of the road.

▪ I opened the rusty iron gate and walked up the path.

▪ The bicycle looked a bit rusty, but it worked.

rust [uncountable noun]

▪ You must remove all traces of rust before repainting the windows.

▷ corroded /kəˈrəʊdɪd, kəˈrəʊdəd/ [adjective]

metal that is corroded has become weak and has changed colour, especially because it has not been protected from the damaging effects of chemicals, water, and air :

▪ You should never use leaking or corroded batteries.

▪ Badly corroded metal gutters and downpipes should be replaced by the plastic type.

3. to make something decay

▷ rot /rɒtǁrɑːt/ [transitive verb]

▪ Bedtime drinks aimed at helping children to sleep may be rotting their teeth.

rot something away

▪ If you leave any water in the bottom of the boat, it’ll slowly rot it away.

▷ corrode /kəˈrəʊd/ [transitive verb]

if a chemical or chemical process corrodes a metal, it makes it decay :

▪ Acid can corrode most metals.

▪ Over the years, rain, wind, and sun had corroded the statue, turning the bronze a bright green.

corrosive /kəˈrəʊsɪv/ [adjective]

▪ That chemical is highly corrosive, so be careful.

4. the process of decaying

▷ decay /dɪˈkeɪ/ [uncountable noun]

▪ Tiny organisms that live in the soil assist the process of decay.

tooth decay

▪ Brushing your teeth regularly helps to fight against tooth decay.

▷ corrosion /kəˈrəʊʒ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

when a chemical or a chemical process makes a metal decay :

▪ The crash happened as a result of corrosion to the airplane’s fuselage.

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