[ dih-klen-shuhn ]
See synonyms for declension on
  1. Grammar.

    • the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives for categories such as case and number.

    • the whole set of inflected forms of such a word, or the recital thereof in a fixed order.

    • a class of such words having similar sets of inflected forms: the Latin second declension.

  2. an act or instance of declining.

  1. a bending, sloping, or moving downward: land with a gentle declension toward the sea.

  2. deterioration; decline.

  3. deviation, as from a standard.

Origin of declension

1400–50; late Middle English declenson, declynson (with suffix later assimilated to -sion), by stress retraction and syncope <Old French declinaison<Latin dēclīnātiōdeclination

Words Nearby declension Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use declension in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for declension


/ (dɪˈklɛnʃən) /

  1. grammar

    • inflection of nouns, pronouns, or adjectives for case, number, and gender

    • the complete set of the inflections of such a word: "puella" is a first-declension noun in Latin

  2. a decline or deviation from a standard, belief, etc

  1. a downward slope or bend

Origin of declension

C15: from Latin dēclīnātiō, literally: a bending aside, hence variation, inflection; see decline

Derived forms of declension

  • declensional, adjective
  • declensionally, adverb

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