Definition and background:
The physical process by which a sound gradually dissappears from the audible spectrum until it no longer exists. Simply put, decay is the time that it takes for a note to die away once the musician has stopped producing the sound. The sound waves dissapate in much the same manner as waves produced by tossing a stone in a pond. Decay is a basic component of how a sound is defined. See envelope.
The rate of reduction of the audio signal generated in synthesizers from the peak level.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary