decay noun

VERB + DECAY rapid | slow | dental, tooth | economic, industrial, urban | moral, physical, social

VERB + DECAY cause Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth, causing decay. | stop Without a lot of money, the mayor won't be able to stop urban decay. | reverse This government promises to reverse industrial decay. | prevent The wood is treated with preservative to prevent decay. | fall into old buildings that had fallen into decay

PREP. in ~ The derelict buildings are the signs of a town in decay. | ~ in Smoking accelerates age-related decay in the heart and arteries. | ~ of the slow decay of the castle and the surrounding buildings

PHRASES the process of decay, signs of decay My dentist could not find any signs of decay. | an odour/a smell/a stench of decay A smell of decay pervaded the air. | a state of decay