What does the word decay mean?

Usage examples for decay

  1. Other things besides peat are formed when plants decay under water. – Lessons on Soil by E. J. Russell
  2. The Dutch decay there exceedingly, it being believed that their people will revolt from them there, and they forced to give over their trade. – Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Transcribed From The Shorthand Manuscript In The Pepysian Library Magdalene College Cambridge By The Rev. Mynors Bright by Samuel Pepys Commentator: Lord Braybrooke
  3. I enjoy my own security and tranquillity, together with better health than I had reason to expect at my age, and with my constitution: however, I feel a gradual decay, though a gentle one; and I think that I shall not tumble, but slide gently to the bottom of the hill of life. – Letters to His Son, 1759-1765 by The Earl of Chesterfield