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[dee-sel-uh-reyt] /diˈsɛl əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), decelerated, decelerating.
to decrease the velocity of:
He decelerates the bobsled when he nears a curve.
to slow the rate of increase of:
efforts to decelerate inflation.
verb (used without object), decelerated, decelerating.
to slow down:
The plane decelerated just before landing.
Origin of decelerate
First recorded in 1895-1900; de- + (ac)celerate
Related forms
deceleration, noun
decelerator, noun
nondeceleration, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for decelerate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "We'll start to decelerate in about ten minutes," O'Brine said.

    Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet

    Harold Leland Goodwin
  • They could decelerate it at a rate of fifteen gravities or more.

    Space Tug Murray Leinster
  • Copeland worked the jury-rigged controls of the jet, continuing to decelerate.

    Comet's Burial Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • Its motor is designed to decelerate that mass by 1,075 mph in order to allow it to assume a descending orbit.

    Far from Home J.A. Taylor
  • They went in fast, using her gravity to help them curve into a forced orbit as they strained to decelerate.

    Tulan Carroll Mather Capps
  • Arcot accelerated toward the planet for two hours, then began to decelerate.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • If anything of the right size shows up, decelerate until we can get mass and albedo measurements.

    Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet

    Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Every so often comes the impression we are falling head-first; the colonel using ship's drive to decelerate the whole system.

    The Lost Kafoozalum Pauline Ashwell
British Dictionary definitions for decelerate


to slow down or cause to slow down
Derived Forms
deceleration, noun
decelerator, noun
Word Origin
C19: from de- + accelerate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decelerate

1899, back-formation from deceleration. Related: Decelerated; decelerating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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