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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


Examples from the Web for deceleration

Historical Examples

  • Deceleration sat on their chests and squeezed their bones to rubber.

    The K-Factor

    Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)

  • It would still take four hours to get down, in a spiral of deceleration.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Casker nodded and punched a deceleration spiral into the ship's tape.

    One Man's Poison

    Robert Sheckley

  • The ship quivered for just a second as it shifted over into deceleration.

  • Ekstrohm fingered loose the cinches of his deceleration couch.

British Dictionary definitions for deceleration


  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 deceleration


1894, originally in railroading, coined from de- "do the opposite of" (see de-) + (ac)celeration.

Verily "deceleration" is a word which could only be coined by the Great Western. ["Engineering," Feb. 2, 1894]
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1899, back-formation from deceleration. Related: Decelerated; decelerating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper