deterioration-n; 2 Senses

Sense Number 1: a physical state or quality of impairment of an entity

Commentary: DETERIORATION[+quality][+physical][+impairment]
NOTE: refers to something concrete in the world, you can see the decay

There is a lot of deterioration on the west wall of the ancient temple.
Bob knows a good bricklayer who can repair the deterioration of our chimney.
The biologist noticed a marked deterioration of the walls of the cancer cells.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: the process of decline or worsening

Commentary: DETERIORATION[+process][+worsening]
NOTE: refers to a continual decrease of function over time
NOTE: abstract, hard to point out any specific physical decay.

The incident caused a deterioration in negotiations.
The novel follows the deterioration of the man's mind over years in the jungle.
These lax standards have led to a deterioration of public education.
Macular degeneration leads to a gradual deterioration of eyesight.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2