[ dih-klahy-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ dɪˈklaɪ nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /
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expressing refusal; implying declination.
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Origin of declinatory

1665–75; <Medieval Latin dēclīnātōrius, equivalent to Latin dēclīnā(re) (see decline) + -tōrius-tory1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does declinatory mean?

Declinatory means expressing refusal.

It can be used to describe a statement made by someone who has declined something—refused it or turned it down.

The related noun declination can mean a polite refusal, especially in a formal or official situation. Neither declinatory or this sense of declination are commonly used.

Example: I’m sorry to say that his response was declinatory—he politely declined to participate.

Where does declinatory come from?

The first records of the word declinatory come from around 1670. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb dēclīnāre, meaning “to slope” or “to bend away.”

People decline things all the time, but the word declinatory is rarely used. Most people find another way to say that a statement expressed a refusal. For this reason, the word sounds very formal, and is often reserved for use in law or other formal contexts.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to declinatory?

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


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

How is declinatory used in real life?

The term declinatory is formal and rarely used.


Try using declinatory!

Is declinatory used correctly in the following sentence?

I just sent a declinatory email to accept the position!