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See more synonyms for decelerate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), de·cel·er·at·ed, de·cel·er·at·ing.
  1. to decrease the velocity of: He decelerates the bobsled when he nears a curve.
  2. to slow the rate of increase of: efforts to decelerate inflation.
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verb (used without object), de·cel·er·at·ed, de·cel·er·at·ing.
  1. to slow down: The plane decelerated just before landing.
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Origin of decelerate

First recorded in 1895–1900; de- + (ac)celerate
Related formsde·cel·er·a·tion, nounde·cel·er·a·tor, nounnon·de·cel·er·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

slow, brake

Examples from the Web for decelerate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "We'll start to decelerate in about ten minutes," O'Brine said.

  • They could decelerate it at a rate of fifteen gravities or more.

    Space Tug

    Murray Leinster

  • Copeland worked the jury-rigged controls of the jet, continuing to decelerate.

    Comet's Burial

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

  • Its motor is designed to decelerate that mass by 1,075 mph in order to allow it to assume a descending orbit.

    Far from Home

    J.A. Taylor

  • They went in fast, using her gravity to help them curve into a forced orbit as they strained to decelerate.


    Carroll Mather Capps

British Dictionary definitions for decelerate


  1. to slow down or cause to slow down
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Derived Formsdeceleration, noundecelerator, noun

Word Origin

C19: from de- + accelerate
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 decelerate


1899, back-formation from deceleration. Related: Decelerated; decelerating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper