[ dek-luh-neyt, -nit ]
/ ˈdɛk ləˌneɪt, -nɪt /
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having a downward curve or slope; bending away, as from the horizontal: a declinate flower.
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Origin of declinate

1800–10; <Latin dēclīnātus, past participle of dēclīnāre.See decline, -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does declinate mean?

Declinate means having a downward curve or slope.

It’s especially used to describe plant parts, such as the petals of a flower.

The related word declination can mean a bending or sloping downward. Neither this term nor declinate are commonly used in a general way.

Example: This looks like the same kind of flower, but it has declinate petals, whereas the petals of the other one are upturned.

Where does declinate come from?

The first records of the word declinate come from the early 1800s. It derives from the Latin dēclīnātus, meaning “turned aside,” from the Latin verb dēclīnāre, meaning “to slope” or “to bend away” (the word decline comes from the same root).

Many things are declinate, but declinate is not a commonly used word. For example, a bird’s bill may be declinate, but it’s much more likely to be described as downcurved. Declinate is typically reserved for describing parts of plants that droop or slope downward in some way. Still, it’s only likely to be used by botanists and plant enthusiasts—the average person describing a declinate flower would instead describe it with a word like drooping or sloped.

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What are some synonyms for declinate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with declinate

What are some words that often get used in discussing declinate?

How is declinate used in real life?

The term declinate is mostly used in a formal way in the context of plants. It’s not commonly used in a general way.


Try using declinate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of declinate?

A. drooping
B. sloping
C. downcurved
D. upturned

How to use declinate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for declinate

/ (ˈdɛklɪˌneɪt, -nɪt) /

(esp of plant parts) descending from the horizontal in a curve; drooping
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