decline

[dih-klahyn]

verb (used with object), de·clined, de·clin·ing.

verb (used without object), de·clined, de·clin·ing.

noun


Origin of decline

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English declinen < Old French: to inflect, turn aside, sink < Latin dēclīnāre to slope, incline, bend; compare Greek klī́nein to lean1; (noun) Middle English declin < Old French, derivative of decliner
Related formsde·clin·er, nounpre·de·cline, verb (used with object), pre·de·clined, pre·de·clin·ing.re·de·cline, verb, re·de·clined, re·de·clin·ing, nounun·de·clined, adjectiveun·de·clin·ing, adjective

Synonyms for decline

1. reject. See refuse1. 9. degenerate, decay, weaken, diminish, languish. 13. hill. 15. retrogression, degeneration, enfeeblement, weakening.

Antonyms for decline

6. rise. 9. improve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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Historical Examples of decline


British Dictionary definitions for decline

decline

verb

to refuse to do or accept (something), esp politely
(intr) to grow smaller; diminishdemand has declined over the years
to slope or cause to slope downwards
(intr) to deteriorate gradually, as in quality, health, or character
grammar to state or list the inflections of (a noun, adjective, or pronoun), or (of a noun, adjective, or pronoun) to be inflected for number, case, or genderCompare conjugate (def. 1)

noun

gradual deterioration or loss
a movement downwards or towards something smaller; diminution
a downward slope; declivity
archaic any slowly progressive disease, such as tuberculosis
Derived Formsdeclinable, adjectivedecliner, noun

Word Origin for decline

C14: from Old French decliner to inflect, turn away, sink, from Latin dēclīnāre to bend away, inflect grammatically
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 decline
v.

late 14c., "to turn aside, deviate," from Old French decliner "to sink, decline, degenerate, turn aside," from Latin declinare "to lower, avoid, deviate, to bend from, inflect," from de- "from" (see de-) + clinare "to bend," from PIE *klei-n-, suffixed form of *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Sense has been altered since c.1400 by interpretation of de- as "downward." Meaning "not to consent, politely refuse," is from 1630s. Related: Declined; declining.

n.

early 14c., "deterioration, degeneration," from Old French declin (see decline (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper