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[dek-luh-ney-shuh n] /ˌdɛk ləˈneɪ ʃən/
a bending, sloping, or moving downward.
deterioration; decline.
a swerving or deviating, as from a standard.
a polite refusal.
Astronomy. the angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator, measured on the great circle passing through the celestial pole and the body.
variation (def 8).
the formal refusal by a nominee of a nomination to public office.
Origin of declination
1350-1400; Middle English declinacioun < Old French declinacion < Latin dēclīnātiōn- (stem of dēclīnātiō), equivalent to dēclīnāt(us), literally, turned aside (past participle of dēclīnāre; see decline, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
declinational, adjective
predeclination, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for declination


(astronomy) the angular distance, esp in degrees, of a star, planet, etc, from the celestial equator measured north (positive) or south (negative) along the great circle passing through the celestial poles and the body δ Compare right ascension
a refusal, esp a courteous or formal one
Derived Forms
declinational, adjective
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 declination

late 14c. as a term in astronomy, from Old French declinacion (Modern French déclinaison), from Latin declinationem (nominative declinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of declinare (see decline). It took on various other senses 15c.-17c., most now obsolete.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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declination in Medicine

declination dec·li·na·tion (děk'lə-nā'shən)

  1. A bending, sloping, or other deviation from a normal vertical position.

  2. A deviation of the vertical meridian of the eye to one or the other side due to rotation of the eyeball about its anteroposterior axis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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declination in Science
  1. On the celestial sphere, the position of a celestial object north or south of the celestial equator. Declination is measured in degrees along a great circle drawn through the object being measured and the north and south celestial poles, with positive values north of the celestial equator and negative values south of it, so that the equator itself is 0° and the north and south celestial poles are +90° and -90° declination respectively. See more at equatorial coordinate system.

  2. See magnetic declination.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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