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declension

[dih-klen-shuh n] /dɪˈklɛn ʃən/
noun
1.
Grammar.
  1. the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives for categories such as case and number.
  2. the whole set of inflected forms of such a word, or the recital thereof in a fixed order.
  3. a class of such words having similar sets of inflected forms:
    the Latin second declension.
2.
an act or instance of declining.
3.
a bending, sloping, or moving downward:
land with a gentle declension toward the sea.
4.
deterioration; decline.
5.
deviation, as from a standard.
Origin of declension
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English declenson, declynson (with suffix later assimilated to -sion), by stress retraction and syncope < Old French declinaison < Latin dēclīnātiō declination
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for declension

declension

/dɪˈklɛnʃən/
noun
1.
(grammar)
  1. inflection of nouns, pronouns, or adjectives for case, number, and gender
  2. the complete set of the inflections of such a word: "puella" is a first-declension noun in Latin
2.
a decline or deviation from a standard, belief, etc
3.
a downward slope or bend
Derived Forms
declensional, adjective
declensionally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēclīnātiō, literally: a bending aside, hence variation, inflection; see decline
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 declension
n.

mid-15c., ultimately from Latin declinationem (nominative declinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of declinare (see decline); perhaps via French; "the form is irregular, and its history obscure" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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