definitions
  • synonyms

decadence

[ dek-uh-duhns, dih-keyd-ns ]
/ ˈdɛk ə dəns, dɪˈkeɪd ns /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR decadence ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay: Some historians hold that the fall of Rome can be attributed to internal decadence.
moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.
unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.
(often initial capital letter) the decadent movement in literature.

RELATED WORDS

Nearby words

dec., deca-, decadal, decade, decadelong, decadence, decadent, decadents, decadrachm, decadron, decaf
Also dec·a·den·cy [dek-uh-duhn-see, dih-keyd-n-] /ˈdɛk ə dən si, dɪˈkeɪd n-/.

Origin of decadence

1540–50; < Middle French < Medieval Latin dēcadentia, equivalent to Late Latin dēcadent- (stem of dēcadēns), present participle of dēcadere to fall away (de- de- +cad(ere) to fall + -ent- -ent) + -ia noun suffix; see -ence
SYNONYMS FOR decadence
Related formsnon·dec·a·dence, nounnon·dec·a·den·cy, nouno·ver·dec·a·dence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decadence

British Dictionary definitions for decadence

decadence

decadency

/ (ˈdɛkədəns) /

noun

deterioration, esp of morality or culture; decay; degeneration
the state reached through such a process

Word Origin for decadence

C16: from French, from Medieval Latin dēcadentia, literally: a falling away; see decay
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 decadence

decadence


n.

1540s, from Middle French décadence (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin decadentia "decay," from decadentem (nominative decadens) "decaying," present participle of decadere "to decay," from Latin de- "apart, down" (see de-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Used of periods in art since 1852, on French model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper