Thesaurus

decay

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of decay

  1. 1 a gradual sinking and wasting away of mind or body middle-aged people who fervently hope that daily exercise will arrest the physical decay that usually accompanies advancing age Synonyms of decay debilitation, decline, decaying, declension, degeneration, descent, deterioration, ebbing, enfeeblement, weakeningWords Related to decay atrophy; exhaustion; drooping, flagging, limping; regression, relapse, setbackNear Antonyms of decay invigoration, strengthening; progress; rejuvenation, rejuvenescenceAntonyms of decay comeback, improvement, rally, recovery, recuperation, rehabilitation, revitalization, snapback

  2. 2 the process by which dead organic matter separates into simpler substances the cycle by which the decay of dead plants on the forest floor provides soil and nutrients for the next generation of plants Synonyms of decay breakdown, corruption, decomposition, festering, putrefaction, putrescence, rot, spoilageWords Related to decay crumbling, disintegration, dissolution; curdling, fermentation, moldering, souringNear Antonyms of decay growth, maturation, ripening


decay

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of decay

  1. 1 to go through decomposition the logs decayed on the rain forest floor the atom of plutonium decayed in the test chamber Synonyms of decay break down, corrupt, decompose, disintegrate, fester, foul, mold, molder, perish [chiefly British], putrefy, rot, spoil Words Related to decay sour, turn, turn off [British]; contaminate, defile, pollute, taint; addle, curdle, ferment; mortify; rust; crumble, decline, degenerate, descend, deteriorate, dilapidate, sink, wither Phrases fall apart, go to seed (or run to seed) Near Antonyms of decay age, develop, grow, mature, ripen; refresh, renew, restore; cleanse, purify; assemble, compose, integrate; ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate

  2. 2 to become worse or of less value the restaurant's standards for food and service had decayed over the years Synonyms of decay atrophy, crumble, deteriorate, decline, degenerate, descend, devolve, ebb, regress, retrograde, rot, sink, worsenWords Related to decay abate, de-escalate, diminish, downsize, dwindle, recede, wane; break down, corrupt, decompose, degrade, dilapidate, disintegrate, molder, putrefy; sour, spoil; lessen, lower, reduce; debilitate, undermine; droop, fail, fall, flag, lag, languish, run down, sag, slip, waste (away), weaken, wiltNear Antonyms of decay better, upgrade; enhance, enrich, fortify, heighten, intensify, strengthen; advance, develop, march, proceed, progressAntonyms of decay ameliorate, improve, meliorate

  3. 3 to lose bodily strength or vigor having reached her 80s, the woman could sense that her body was decaying Synonyms of decay weaken, droop, emaciate, fade, fail, flag, go, lag, languish, sag, sink, waste (away), wilt, witherWords Related to decay break down, wear out; yield; degenerate, deteriorate, rot, run downNear Antonyms of decay convalesce, rally, rebound, recover, recuperate; gain

Synonym Discussion of decay

decay, decompose, rot, putrefy, spoil mean to undergo destructive dissolution. decay implies a slow change from a state of soundness or perfection.
    • a decaying mansion
decompose stresses a breaking down by chemical change and when applied to organic matter a corruption.
    • the strong odor of decomposing vegetation
rot is a close synonym of decompose and often connotes foulness.
    • fruit was left to rot in warehouses
putrefy implies the rotting of animal matter and offensiveness to sight and smell.
    • corpses putrefying on the battlefield
spoil applies chiefly to the decomposition of foods.
    • keep the ham from spoiling


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of very fine texture or delicate form

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