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Decay, vb. 1) intr. a) to pass from a better to a worse state; to become weak: when that (the flesh) “--s, the guilty rebel for remission prays,” Lucr. 713. “his leaves will wither and his sap d.” Lucr. 713 “and in mine own love's strength seem to d.” Sonn. 23, 7. “and state itself confounded to d.” 64, 10. the which (your health) “must perforce d.” H4B I, 1, 165. “my weak --ing age,” H6A II, 5, 1. “swifter than blood --s,” Troil. III, 2, 170. “when love begins to sicken and d.” Caes. IV, 2, 20. Partic. “decayed:” Sonn. 79, 3. Err. II, 1, 98. IV, 3, 26. All's V, 2, 24. Cor. V, 2, 47.
b) to perish, to end: O happiness as soon “--ed and done as is the morning's dew,” Lucr. 23. “let your love even with my life d.” Sonn. 71, 12. “had not churchmen prayed, his thread of life had not so soon --ed,” H6A I, 1, 34. “whiles we are suitors to their throne, --s the thing we sue for,” Ant. II, 1, 4.
2) trans. a) to impair: “rocks impregnable are not so stout, nor gates of steel so strong, but time --s,” Sonn. 65, 8. “infirmity, that --s the wise,” Tw. I, 5, 82.
b) to destroy: “every day that comes comes to d. a day's work in him,” Cymb. I, 5, 56 (perhaps also Sonn. 65, 8).
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