(of organic matter) rot or decompose through the action of bacteria and fungi.
the body had begun to decay
decompose,rot,putrefy,go bad,go off,spoil,fester,perish,deteriorate,degrade,break down,break up,moulder,shrivel,shrivel up,wither,mortify,necrotize,sphacelate,corrupt
the state or process of rotting or decomposition.
hardwood is more resistant to decay than softwood