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Decay, subst. 1) decline from a better to a worse state: “who lets so fair a house fall to d.” Sonn. 13, 9. “wasteful time debateth with d., to change your day of youth to sullied night,” 15, 11. 16, 3. 100, 11. Pilgr. 184. Wiv. V, 5, 152. Merch. V, 64. Tim. IV, 3, 466. Lr. V, 3, 288. Abstr. pro concr.: “what comfort to this great d. may come,” Lr. V, 3, 297 (== ruin).
2) fall, ruin, perdition, end: “in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee: that done, some worthless slave of thine I'll slay, to kill thine honour with thy life's d.” Lucr. 516. “the light will show, charactered on my brow, the story of sweet chastity's d.” Lucr. 516 “to feed oblivion with d. of things,” Lucr. 516 “herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase; without this, folly, age and cold d.” Sonn. 11, 6. “my love was my d.” 80, 14. “be thou the trumpet of our wrath and sullen presage of your own d.” John I, 28. “vast confusion waits, as doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast, the imminent d. of wrested pomp,” IV, 3, 154. “cry woe, destruction, ruin and d.” R2 III, 2, 102. “with what wings shall his affections fly towards fronting peril and opposed d.!” H4B IV, 4, 66. “good king Henry, thy d. I fear,” H6B III, 1, 194. “till then fair hope must hinder life's d.” H6C IV, 4, 16. “death, desolation, ruin and d.” R3 IV, 4, 409. “so shall my lungs coin words till their d. against those measles,” Cor. III, 1, 78.
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