noun, plural car·ies.

  1. decay, as of bone or of plant tissue.
  2. dental caries.


  1. a female given name, form of Caroline.

noun plural -ies

  1. progressive decay of a bone or a tooth

1630s, from Latin caries “rottenness, decay,” from Proto-Italic *kas-, usually said to be from PIE root *kere- “to injure, break apart” (cf. Greek ker “death, destruction,” Old Irish krin “withered, faded”). Related: Carious. But de Vaan writes that “semantically, caries may just as well belong to careocared ‘to lack’ as ‘defect, state of defectiveness’ ….”

n. pl. caries

  1. Decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.

Plural caries

  1. Decay of a bone or tooth. Dental plaque formed by bacteria initiates a progressive process of decay that, if left unchecked, leads to tooth loss.
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