- characterized by decadence, especially culturally or morally: a decadent life of excessive money and no sense of responsibility.
- (often initial capital letter) of or like the decadents.
- a person who is decadent.
- (often initial capital letter) one of a group of French and English writers of the latter part of the 19th century whose works were characterized by aestheticism, great refinement or subtlety of style, and a marked tendency toward the artificial and abnormal in content.
Origin of decadent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for decadent
The grandson of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, Nicholas Vreeland was poised for a decadent life in high-society.From Fashion Player to Photographer Monk
December 3, 2014
Since it could now survive travel over longer distances, lobster became a decadent treat for the American upper class.My Big, Buttery Lobster Roll Rumble: We Came, We Clawed, We Conquered
June 7, 2014
I remember going to a rehearsal dinner that had lobster tail on the buffet and thinking that was decadent.Which of Kim Kardashian’s Weddings Was More Ridiculous?
May 27, 2014
Decadent, venal, ineffective, stratified, anxiety-ridden, stumbling from one declared crisis to the next—who wants that?The Real Clash of Civilizations
March 1, 2014
Amongst the characters performances are decadent costumes, over-the-top wigs, and too much leather, fur, and slinky cuts to count.The ‘American Hustle’ Style Guide
February 14, 2014
Above all things he despised Greek art; it was, he said decadent.Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches
The exquisiteness of the decadent efflorescence of a passing race.Lady Bountiful
George A. Birmingham
The Nejd was the one clean spot in the decadent Moslem world.The New World of Islam
So, we may be sure, the decadent artists of the Graeco-Roman world were not rebels.Progress and History
All our East has suffered from the decadent touch of Europe.Child and Country
Will Levington Comfort
- characterized by decay or decline, as in being self-indulgent or morally corrupt
- belonging to a period of decline in artistic standards
- a decadent person
- (often capital) one of a group of French and English writers of the late 19th century whose works were characterized by refinement of style and a tendency towards the artificial and abnormal
Word Origin and History for decadent
"in a state of decline or decay (from a former condition of excellence)," 1837, from French décadent, back-formation from décadence (see decadence). In reference to literary (later, other artistic) schools that believed, or affected to believe, they lived in an age of artistic decadence, 1885 in French, 1888 in English. Usually in a bad sense, e.g.:
"Bread, supposedly the staff of life, has become one of our most decadent foods -- doughy, gummy, and without the aroma, flavor, texture, taste and appearance that is typical of good bread." ["College and University Business" 1960]
Beckoning sense of "desirable and satisfying to self-indulgence" begins c.1970 in commercial publications in reference to desserts.