(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
n. decomposition, deterioration, disintegration, dilapidation, putrefaction, rot, caries. — v. i. rot, putrefy, mortify; disintegrate. See oldness, uncleanness.
(Roget's IV) n.
1. [A progressive worsening]
Syn. decline, decomposition, collapse, degeneracy, downfall, decadence, depreciation, decrease, consumption, corruption, spoilage, spoiling, rotting, retrogradation, wasting away, retrogression, degeneration, gradual crumbling, disrepair, loss of health, loss of strength, weakening, senescence, deterioration, breakdown, failure, ruination, extinction, progressive decline, dilapidation, dissolution, disintegration, decrepitude, ruin, crumbling, waste, breakup, corrosion, impairment, discoloration, reduction, wear and tear, falling off, failing, pejority; see also sense 2 .
Ant. improvement*, increase, preservation.
2. [Decomposition]
Syn. disintegration, putrefaction, corruption, adulteration, rot, rottenness, breakup, spoilage, carrion, putrescence, putridity, decrepitude, mold, rust, corrosion, oxidation, dry rot, black rot, caries, spur, atrophy, emaciation, blight, marasmus, gangrene, mildew, biodegredation, deliquescence, ravages of time*, way of all flesh*; see also sense 1 .
Ant. growth*, germination, freshness.
Syn. spoil, blight, go to seed, fade, be impaired, rot, wither, molder, crumble, disintegrate, break down, turn, break up, curdle, discolor, mold, mildew, dry-rot, rust, corrupt, corrode, putrefy, putresce, decompose, biodegrade, deliquesce, degenerate, become tainted, become contaminated, collapse, shrivel, atrophy, pejorate, suppurate, decline, depreciate, deteriorate, worsen, sink, go bad, fall off, fall apart, fall into decay, fall away, fall to pieces, slump, fade away, wear away, erode, eat away, get worse, lessen, fail, sicken, weaken, waste away, go from bad to worse, touch bottom, slow down, thin out, go to rack and ruin, fall on evil days, go to the dogs*, hit the skids*, go to pot*, die on the vine*, reach a New low*, reach the depths*, hit rock bottom*; see also die 1 , 2 , 3 .
Ant. clean*, refresh, purify.
Syn.- decay implies gradual, often natural, deterioration from a normal or sound condition [ his teeth have begun to decay] ; rot refers to the decay of organic, esp. vegetable, matter, caused by bacteria, fungi, etc. [rotting apples ] ; putrefy suggests the offensive, foul-smelling rotting of animal matter [ bodies putrefying in the fields ] ; spoil is the common informal word for the decay of foods [ fish spoils quickly in summer ] ; molder suggest a slow, progressive, crumbling decay [ old buildings molder away ] ; disintegrate implies the breaking up of something into parts or fragments so that the wholeness of the original is destroyed [ the sunken ship gradually disintegrated] ; decompose suggests the breaking up or separation of something into its component elements [ a decomposing chemical compound ] : it is also a somewhat euphemistic substitute for rot and putrefy
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus)
rot, spoilage, decomposition, decline, disintegration, putrefaction, deterioration, degeneration, decrepitude.
ANT.: growth, vigor
decline, deteriorate, degenerate, atrophy, waste away, wane, rot, decompose, putrefy, wither, disintegrate.
ANT.: grow, thrive
(Roget's Thesaurus II) I verb To become or cause to become rotten or unsound: break down, decompose, deteriorate, disintegrate, molder, putrefy, rot, spoil, taint, turn. Idioms: go bad, go to pot, go to seed. See BETTER, THRIVE. II noun The condition of being decayed: breakdown, decomposition, deterioration, disintegration, putrefaction, putrescence, putridness, rot, rottenness, spoilage. See BETTER, THRIVE.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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