Origin of decadence
OTHER WORDS FROM decadencenon·dec·a·dence, nounnon·dec·a·den·cy, nouno·ver·dec·a·dence, noun
Words nearby decadence
What does decadence mean?
Decadence is a state of deterioration or decay, especially due to being excessively morally corrupt or self-indulgent.
The adjective form of decadence is decadent, which is used to describe things in such a state, especially societies or behavior.
Decadent is also popularly used in a somewhat figurative way to describe things that are extremely indulgent, especially rich foods, as in That triple chocolate cake is so decadent that I think I can only finish half a piece. The word decadence can refer to the extreme richness or luxury of such things.
When capitalized, the word Decadence has a much more specific meaning. It refers to a movement of French and English writers in the second half of the 1800s whose works were known for their refined and subtle style and sometimes abnormal content. Such writers are called Decadents and include French poet Arthur Rimbaud and Irish writer Oscar Wilde.
Example: Historians have traditionally depicted the late Roman Empire as having been brought down in part by its decadence, but others have debated whether supposed corruption of morals actually contributed to its fall.a
Where does decadence come from?
The first records of the word decadence come from the mid-1500s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb dēcadere, meaning “to fall away.” The adjective decadent is actually a back formation from the noun decadence, meaning that decadence came first and was then made into the adjective decadent.
Referring to the decadence of a society or a behavior is a way of criticizing it for having fallen away and deteriorated into a state thought to be inferior. The word especially implies the belief that people’s morals have decayed on a large scale and they are indulging in behaviors that were previously considered unacceptable.
When someone refers to the decadence of a chocolate cake, they’re using the word in a figurative way that implies that it’s so rich and indulgent that it’s almost immoral—such desserts are often similarly described as sinful.
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What are some other forms related to decadence?
- decadency (noun)
- decadent (adjective)
What are some synonyms for decadence?
What are some words that share a root or word element with decadence?
What are some words that often get used in discussing decadence?
How is decadence used in real life?
Decadence is perhaps most popularly used in reference to rich desserts, especially chocolate ones. When it’s used in reference to a society, it’s intended as a negative judgment.
Chocolate decadence 🖤🖤🖤 Hope she'll like it, can't wait for a slice😋 pic.twitter.com/rHKD98k7ry
— uKudla okuqinile kungokwabantu abavuthiwe. (@ronsta101) August 24, 2020
My mother had strong moral views on the decadence of branded desserts. We were not allowed viennetta in our house. I’d been trying to forget. Now you bring it all out again.
— Samira Ahmed (@SamiraAhmedUK) August 19, 2018
People complain about the worsening of society's decadence. Why rant about this degradation when we all have had a hand in it? Perhaps, you don't believe that you're part of the problem which is, in itself, a serious problem. 🙄
— Piece of Mind (@iAmRPeras) August 20, 2020
Try using decadence!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of decadence?
How to use decadence in a sentence
Mirza Ghalib, the ultimate authority on Urdu poetry, was also an authority on mangoes, weaving entire ditties around their decadence.
At my meal, that luxury came through not just in the decadence but in how tailored it was to each person around the table.Climate change, inequality and a recall vote: How the French Laundry embodies California|Lisa Bonos|September 9, 2021|Washington Post
I try to tell the unvarnished truth about the decadence in our market-driven universities!Cornel West says in resignation letter over tenure dispute that Harvard is in ‘decline and decay’|Timothy Bella, Susan Svrluga|July 13, 2021|Washington Post
Seeking can call it sugaring, with its implications of frivolity and decadence, but it’s hard to attribute the site’s popularity to anything but financial hardship.Gaetz’s GOP Primed Young Women to Sell Sex to Men Like Him|Casey Thompson|May 31, 2021|The Daily Beast
Our mockery of celebworld helps us evade the soul-crushing decadence concealed within.Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Dead Panic Over Sony Hack|James Poulos|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Within days, the anti-Western line drawn to connect the dots of supposed Western decadence reached theaters and movie theaters.A Virtual Iron Curtain Closes In on Russia’s Intelligentsia|Anna Nemtsova|April 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Many accused party leaders of excessive wealth and decadence filled with liquor and women.
The decadence of it at 10 in the morning, it just feels like the perfect reward!
In both films, these vehicular behemoths are emblems of our current decadence.The Crush for Cronenberg’s Cannes Competition Entry, ‘Cosmopolis’|Richard Porton|May 28, 2012|DAILY BEAST
This style of the decadence is the "dernier mot" of Verbe, summoned to express all and to venture to the very extremes.Charles Baudelaire, His Life|Thophile Gautier
Unlike those feathered Romans of the Decadence, we moderns settle for one meal at a sitting, and let it digest in peace.The Great Potlatch Riots|Allen Kim Lang
So long as England produces men of this metal she need not fear the decadence of the race.Round the Wonderful World|G. E. Mitton
They had reached the period of decadence, and were often heard boasting of the illustrious Charlotte.
It is the fruit of a decadence, not the mature product of a full-blown art, which has taken centuries to grow and ripen.The History of Modern Painting, Volume 1 (of 4)|Richard Muther