- the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay: Some historians hold that the fall of Rome can be attributed to internal decadence.
- moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.
- unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.
- (often initial capital letter) the decadent movement in literature.
Origin of decadence
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for decadence
Within days, the anti-Western line drawn to connect the dots of supposed Western decadence reached theaters and movie theaters.A Virtual Iron Curtain Closes In on Russia’s Intelligentsia
April 7, 2014
Many accused party leaders of excessive wealth and decadence filled with liquor and women.Teaching ‘The Great Gatsby’ in Chengdu, China
May 20, 2013
The decadence of it at 10 in the morning, it just feels like the perfect reward!Emma Donoghue: The How I Write Interview
October 24, 2012
In both films, these vehicular behemoths are emblems of our current decadence.The Crush for Cronenberg’s Cannes Competition Entry, ‘Cosmopolis’
May 28, 2012
The collection was unmistakably Cavalli, and whether one finds his decadence enthralling or offputting, he stands by it.Milan Fashion Week’s Big Finale: Versace and Dolce & Gabbana Wow, While Armani Falls Short
February 27, 2012
The Gladstone period had passed its zenith and its decadence had already begun.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
The decadence of Narbonne as a port is due to natural causes.In the Heart of Vosges
"Well, I hope so," sighed Phoebe, wondering secretly at the decadence of love.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
It is only in the days of their decadence that a strong light beats into heaven.Howards End
E. M. Forster
The Irish say that England is in the first stage of her decadence, and they say it with some reason.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
- deterioration, esp of morality or culture; decay; degeneration
- the state reached through such a process
Word Origin and History for decadence
1540s, from Middle French décadence (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin decadentia "decay," from decadentem (nominative decadens) "decaying," present participle of decadere "to decay," from Latin de- "apart, down" (see de-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Used of periods in art since 1852, on French model.