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deteriorate

[dih-teer-ee-uh-reyt]
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verb (used with or without object), de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, de·te·ri·o·rat·ing.
  1. to make or become worse or inferior in character, quality, value, etc.
  2. to disintegrate or wear away.

Origin of deteriorate

1565–75; < Late Latin dēteriōrātus made worse (past participle of dēteriōrāre), equivalent to Latin dēterior worse ( from + -ter- formative in adjectives of spatial orientation (cf. exterior, interior) + -ior comparative suffix) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsde·te·ri·o·ra·tive, adjectiveun·de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, adjectiveun·de·te·ri·o·rat·ing, adjectiveun·de·te·ri·o·ra·tive, adjective

Synonyms

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1. degenerate, decline, worsen.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deteriorate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In contact with the white man the Indian tended to deteriorate.

    The Fathers of New England

    Charles M. Andrews

  • The result is that it is all far from good and likely to deteriorate rather than to improve.

    Rural Hygiene

    Henry N. Ogden

  • The rations appeared to deteriorate and diminish as the winter advanced.

  • There is no doubt that she caused Leonora's character to deteriorate.

    The Good Soldier

    Ford Madox Ford

  • These soups do not deteriorate, so may be continually on hand and thus found most convenient.


British Dictionary definitions for deteriorate

deteriorate

verb
  1. to make or become worse or lower in quality, value, character, etc; depreciate
  2. (intr) to wear away or disintegrate
Derived Formsdeterioration, noundeteriorative, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin dēteriōrāre, from Latin dēterior worse
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

Word Origin and History for deteriorate

v.

1640s (as a past participle adjective, 1570s), from Late Latin deterioratus, past participle of deteriorare "get worse, make worse," from Latin deterior "worse, lower, inferior, meaner," contrastive of *deter "bad, lower," from PIE *de-tero-, from demonstrative stem *de- (see de). Originally transitive in English; intransitive sense is from 1758. Related: Deteriorated; deteriorating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deteriorate in Medicine

deteriorate

(dĭ-tîrē-ə-rāt′)
v.
  1. To grow worse in function or condition.
  2. To weaken or disintegrate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.