noun, plural car·ies.
- decay, as of bone or of plant tissue.
- dental caries.
- a female given name, form of Caroline.
noun plural -ies
- 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
- Decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.
- 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.