De·cay v. i. [imp. & p. p. Decayed p. pr. & vb. n. Decaying.] To pass gradually from a sound, prosperous, or perfect state, to one of imperfection, adversity, or dissolution; to waste away; to decline; to fail; to become weak, corrupt, or disintegrated; to rot; to perish; as, a tree decays; fortunes decay; hopes decay.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay. --Goldsmith.